You could have walked there faster! Amazon's much-hyped first ever drone delivery was only 765 yards

You could have walked there faster! Amazon's much-hyped first ever drone delivery was only 765 yards

Amazon Air's first drone delivery was made to the company's next door neighbour just 765 yards away, it has been revealed.

Earlier this week the company tweeted that it had made its first aircraft delivery and claimed to have dropped off the package just 13 minutes after it was ordered.

But investigations show the parcel, containing an Amazon Fire TV box and a bag of popcorn, were flown from Amazon's drone testing site near Cambridge, across one field to a farmhouse just 765 yards away.

Catherine Shelby, 56, who lives nearby, said today: 'The house is so close to the testing site it would have been quicker to walk there with the package.'

Real-life Amazon Drone delivery begin trials with no human pilot

It has been revealed that the parcel, containing an Amazon Fire TV box and popcorn, was flown from Amazon's drone testing site (pictured left) near Cambridge, across one field to this farmhouse (right)

It has been revealed that the parcel, containing an Amazon Fire TV box and popcorn, was flown from Amazon's drone testing site (pictured left) near Cambridge, across one field to this farmhouse (right)

Amazon Air launched on December 7 and said it delivered a package to a customer in Cambridge in just 13 minutes

Amazon Air launched on December 7 and said it delivered a package to a customer in Cambridge in just 13 minutes

Amazon's US billionaire founder Jeff Bezos confirmed the delivery in a tweet earlier in the week and posted a video.

He wrote: 'First-ever AmazonPrimeAir customer delivery is in the books. 13 min - click to delivery.'

In the slick film Amazon Air promised to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less and said it had made its first drop off on December 7 in just 13 minutes.

The video shows an order from customer, Richard B, arriving at the Amazon Air fulfilment centre in Cambridgeshire.

Then moments later an electrically powered Amazon drone makes its way down an automated track, before rising into the sky with the package on board.

Customer Richard B is then seen going into his garden to find the parcel, which has been dropped onto his lawn by the drone.

The video claims that Amazon has started a private trial for two customers in Cambridge, but will eventually expand it to 'dozens' in the local area, and then beyond.

Amazon said a new private trial will now deliver packages up to five pounds in weight in 30 minutes or less using the drones

Amazon said a new private trial will now deliver packages up to five pounds in weight in 30 minutes or less using the drones

A member of the Amazon team picks up the item at the firm's Prime Air Fulfillment Centre before it is attached to the drone

A member of the Amazon team picks up the item at the firm's Prime Air Fulfillment Centre before it is attached to the drone

But investigations show that Richard B's house is actually located right next door to the drone testing site and that the aircraft would only have been in the sky for a few minutes.

Richard B today said: 'It is early days but the drone delivery worked. It took just 13 minutes from when I placed the order.'

Amazon has spent millions of pounds developing its drone service. In July the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) lifted strict drone flying restrictions to enable the company to start testing its drones.

It means Amazon is allowed to have one pilot controlling multiple autonomous drones and can operate a drone without a direct line of sight.

A video tweeted by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos showed the journey the package took with the new Amazon Air service

A video tweeted by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos showed the journey the package took with the new Amazon Air service

Over the summer Amazon secretly flew its drones in a field, around five miles east of its research and development centre in Cambridge.

It built a wall of haybales to hide the testing area, but the drone could be spotted when it was flying in the sky.

The secret site also contains a blue control tower, with a five-metre tall antenna, and a manicured landing site, the size of a football pitch to resemble a front garden.

The area is constantly patrolled by security men and vans, with Amazon keen to keep its latest development to itself.

Amazon has also applied for a patent for anti-collision avoidance systems on their drones.

The company has stated the drones will cruise below 400ft, carrying packages up to 5lbs and guided by GPS.

Amazon does not require a licence for the drones but once it rolls out the service further it will need to obtain the permission of the Civil Aviation Authority for every delivery as all commercial drone flights must be approved by the body. 

Jeremy Clarkson introduces Amazon Prime Air drone delivery

The drone was launched on a mechanised track at its Prime Air Fullfillment Centre (pictured) before reaching an altitude of 400ft

The drone was launched on a mechanised track at its Prime Air Fullfillment Centre (pictured) before reaching an altitude of 400ft

Amazon plan to roll out the service more widely in the future but said customers would only be able to use drones, pictured, if they had a large enough garden, lived close enough to a depot and ordered goods that weighed less than 5.7lbs

Amazon plan to roll out the service more widely in the future but said customers would only be able to use drones, pictured, if they had a large enough garden, lived close enough to a depot and ordered goods that weighed less than 5.7lbs

The firm said its drones will use 'sense and avoid' technology and data will be continuously gathered throughout the trial to make improvements

The firm said its drones will use 'sense and avoid' technology and data will be continuously gathered throughout the trial to make improvements

Meanwhile the customer did not have to wait long for the delivery and could see the drone arriving via his window, pictured

Meanwhile the customer did not have to wait long for the delivery and could see the drone arriving via his window, pictured

Questions over the safe use of drones remain, however, with a number of near-misses involving commercial aircraft and amateur drone pilots reported this year. 

Amazon has proposed using its crafts in 'segregated blocks of airspace below 500 feet and away from most manned aviation operations'.

Amazon Air is launched amid safety concerns - with a number of near-misses involving commercial aircraft and amateur drone pilots reported this year

Amazon Air is launched amid safety concerns - with a number of near-misses involving commercial aircraft and amateur drone pilots reported this year

Amazon has proposed using its crafts in 'segregated blocks of airspace below 500 feet and away from most manned aviation operations'

Amazon has proposed using its crafts in 'segregated blocks of airspace below 500 feet and away from most manned aviation operations'

Supposedly the drone is able to alert the Amazon depot when it has fulfilled its delivery and then notifies staff it is returning to base

Supposedly the drone is able to alert the Amazon depot when it has fulfilled its delivery and then notifies staff it is returning to base

Meanwhile the customer in Cambridge was happy to find his Amazon Fire TV box and popcorn, pictured, had arrived in one piece

Meanwhile the customer in Cambridge was happy to find his Amazon Fire TV box and popcorn, pictured, had arrived in one piece

The firm also said its drones will use 'sense and avoid' technology and data will be continuously gathered throughout the trial to make improvements, calling safety its 'top priority'.

The company added that the current trial was only permitted to operate during daylight hours with low winds and good visibility, and not in rain, snow or icy conditions. 

On its website Amazon said: 'It looks like science fiction, but it's real. One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.'

A spokesman for the CAA said it was 'too early' to talk about granting Amazon exemptions for commercial flights for 'out of line of sight' flights on a national scale.

The spokesman added the company would likely have to get Government approval to pursue such an extension. 

Earlier this year Amazon got British approval for three new types of tests, including flying drones that are no longer within sight of their operators in rural and suburban areas.

The other two are having one person operate several highly automated drones and testing devices to make the drones able to identify and avoid obstacles. 

MailOnline has approached Amazon for further comment.
Source: DailyMail.co.uk

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