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New Airline emerging - Amazon Prime Air!

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these aren’t toys for little kids! (it’s for big kids :))

and they do come with some sort of blade guard; they just didn’t use it in the video

beside these electric motors and tiny blades don’t have enough torque to cause real damage

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if i may ask; why not?

 

 

Maybe feasible was the wrong word, I don't see it happening anytime soon although it's been said they are actively testing. Still many hurdles to jump through, the FAA, technology and cost effectiveness.

 

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I look forward to seeing many YouTube videos of Amazon packages stuck in the top of 60ft oak trees  . . .

 

(and they also need to add "Drone shot down enroute" to their list of reasons for refund!)  :stars:

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Thats what I'm talking about Brett. Keep an ADHD kid from rushing one too...i dare you.

 

I think Amazon needs to hire all of us Flight Sim guys to be remote drone pilots. I have no ulterior motive for that suggstion btw...although...getting paid to fly cargo around sounds like the makings of a great Airhauler V3. Someone needs to get Slopey and Bezos together. :cloudnine:

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The way I see it is I order a radio control unit and a couple of servers from amazon and wait for the delivery with a blanket.

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I'm fairly serious about hiring flight simulator pilots as the drone pilots for something like this. I can imagine a control room full of does pilots basically standing by while the drones autonomously transit to destinations, and be ready should ne drown signal the presence of unusual circumstances. That could be high winds, tall obstructions, lots of foot traffic and potential pets, or just dense population areas in general that might require human eyes andan assist if necessary.

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A classic case of someone's inability to separate the technically possible from the economically feasible.
 
There's nothing much about this that's technically impossible or insoluble.  I just can't see anyone making any money doing it.
 
if i may ask; why not?
 
If piloted, with remote video feed, too expensive (labor cost for the "pilots").  If not, too many hazards that autonomous drones would have to contend with, WX, traffic (including birds and masses of other drones when near their terminals), obstacles, intentional mischief, complaints from neighbors of those receiving deliveries.  I suspect they'd have to have some pretty strict WX criteria for operating them and if the WX was out of limits they would have to tell some dear lady who desparately wanted a jar of "Death by Chocolate" ice cream sauce within 30 minutes that she'd just have to settle for some Hershey's syrup from the local market instead.  The kind of people who will want to use this service will not take kindly to being told "no", ever, for any reason. 
 
Payload would be extremely limited; speed marginal, range quite low.  Do you suppose there's an Amazon warehouse just a couple streets over from everyone?  One of the charms of Amazon is that there's no state tax in states where they don't have a physical facility.  This would mean a physical facility in every town, several in most cities.  That means one of their price advantage points in many locations would disappear, probably significantly affecting their non-drone sales. 
 
I wonder what the liability insurance would run for operating a fleet of, say 10,000 of these?  That's only an average of 200 in each of the US states, which would be mighty thin coverage.  
 
It may have a niche, novelty market in some trendy, self-indulged, fairly densely populated areas (e.g. Hollywood, Silicon Valley) but I can't see this ever becoming a mainstream option for most of us.
 
you can get these babies flying for over two hours these days
 
Immaterial - they're advertising 30 minute delivery.  I suspect that claim was made at a minimum weight as well.  So maybe that means two round trips on a charge, maybe, if you're willing to take the risk of it running out of steam as it's returning from the second one. 
 
FedEx, UPS and even the postal services operate on the premise of "bundling", i.e. putting all the objects consigned to a contiguous area on a single vehicle and sending it out to make the rounds.  This flies in the face of that.  The only possible advantage is the labor savings, and the price you can demand for 30 minute satisfaction.  I don't see either of those things really coming to fruition in an economically beneficial way anytime soon.
 
The Resident Cynic,
 
John 
 
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Self driving drone trucks carry a fleet of drones, and one crew members/robotruck driver-monitor to service/hot swap batteries. They drive to a central position for the Bundled items, and then release the air hounds to deliver the packages. 12 drones per robo truck delivering to within a 5 mile radius will cover a lot of territory and round trips would be about 10-15 minutes per item...48 deliveries per hour per robo truck.

 

^^^Just imagining a scenario in Bezos' cartoon world John...not real world. :D

 

 

I agree that you have covered pretty much all the real world basics that make drone deliveries a real nutters idea for the time being, except perhaps the Australian outback or similar desolate area that would have a courier switch backing crappy terrain for longer than anyone could afford...and even then...ya, where are the drone bases going to be...no one is going to have a fleet of drones standing by in Alice Springs in case someone needs a new digeridoo...NOW.

 

The whole Self-Guided thing is too early in it's infancy to send whirling blades into populated areas...it's insane. :hat:

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Not to mention, what do you stock in the truck or the warehouse that services those remote areas? Digeridoos in twelve colors? The distributed warehousing to support 30 minute delivery times is going to be a really tough nut to crack, unless the "items" available via drone delivery are a small, select list of things that won't require much warehouse infrastructure. It's not so much a matter of physical space because the drone-deliverable items will be small and light but the number of SKUs to be stocked will drive up the complexity/cost of the warehouse pretty quickly. Order-to-lift-off time would have to be very quick - like five minutes or less. If you're stocking, say 5,000 different SKUs, that's going to be an interesting warehousing operation.

 

Does anyone have a handle on what the "cruise speed" of one of these things is? That would give me a better idea of what kind of radius of operation the 30 minute (actually 25) delivery time would entail.

 

John

 

EDIT: This is an interesting topic and the new technology is certainly going to get the innovators and entrepreneurs scratching their heads and trying to find ways to profit from it. That's the way the world should work and there's really nothing wrong with speculating and brainstorming on ways to use it. I just don't think this one is quite ready for prime time. Bezos is, to some extent, cut from the same cloth as our buddy Branson and it's not out of the question that this is just a way to get some company publicity and free press coverage.

 

I'm an Amazon Prime subscriber and use it a lot. It makes economic sense for me and Amazon is not a bad outfit, it's just that I think this is pie-in-the-sky, for now and for some time yet. A ten-fold increase in battery power to weight ratio at no more than twice the current price might help push it along, but I don't think that's about to happen yet either.

 

JDA

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I was sceptical too... but Amazon aren't sceptical they are taking this very seriously. The intention is to get packages into customers hands in 30 minutes or less.

 

They say they will deploy when regulatory support is in place.

 

They may deploy the service and discover it's feasible, or it may be unfeasible, we will have to wait and see.

 

 

 

 

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Besides, when the first one falls down and seriously hurts someone, they are going to be out of the game.

I dont think the public will want these things whining around their ears.

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The more I think about it, the more I think the distributed warehousing will be the Achilles heel. Everything you can order on 30 minutes delivery will, obviously, have to be physically stocked within about 25 minutes flight time of you and be retrievable within 5 minutes. That's a pretty tall order, and potentially a pretty expensive one. It will take many, many point sources of stock to provide anything like broad coverage, even within a single large metropolitan area. If the number of items available is small, it won't be very useful or popular - if large, the warehousing costs and complexity grow accordingly.

 

John

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I think this is just an advertising gimmick. In reality it just isn't practical. Small payload, limited range, and possibly limited radio control band width. It wouldn't be that scaleable and it wouldn't make economic sense. 

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I think this is just an advertising gimmick. In reality it just isn't practical. Small payload, limited range, and possibly limited radio control band width. It wouldn't be that scaleable and it wouldn't make economic sense. 

 

I'd say it isn't!

 

Amazon were accused of that in 2013. They assured shareholders it wasn't. Since then there have been 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th generation vehicles. In short they have spent plenty of dosh and employed 60 plus staff.

 

They are certainly serious about this.

 

The other point to consider before we become too sceptical, is that Amazon will have conducted a feasibility study, and thus will have deemed it feasible.

 

Whether it really is feasible, time will tell. So yes, it all may all come to nothing, but they are serious about it.

 

Personally, I can see the local kids nicking them, and having great fun down the park.

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I've been listening to everyone’s input; very interesting to say the least; I have my own scenario in my head,

For the most part of my life I lived in New-jersey (US)

NJ, NY, PA are extremely dense in wild trees

It’s as if people cut down few trees in the forest to make room for a house; it is like this in most parts!

This is the trees I lived in NJ, just look up in street view mode and you will see what I’m talking about

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.61362,-74.379774,3a,75y,32.24h,76.92t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sNvhwfYwYnPhstwtBEqI4WQ!2e0

Negotiating any approach in this environment will be almost impossible

The shrubbery will greatly vary during seasons and will be very much unpredictable

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Nice houses!

 

They look big enough to have their own chopper pad out back!!

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