Amazon’s Unmanned Drone Delivery Plans

Amazon. Who doesn’t love it? It’s so convenient; a huge range of products, and you can always get next day delivery in case of a forgotten-birthday related emergency. I mean, that does only apply to the stuff from Amazon itself, rather Amazon sellers, which is a shame. That’s something I’d be working on making better if I worked for them. But I’m boring like that; that’s why I’ve never suggested they bring out unmanned drones to deliver shopping.

Yes, introducing Amazon Prime Air, a service Amazon hopes to roll out in the not too distant future. With Amazon Prime Air, an unmanned drone will deliver your purchases to you within half an hour of you hitting “checkout”. It sounds revolutionary, amazing, innovative.

Or does it? Whilst I can see a convenience in being able to have something delivered within half an hour, it’s rarely necessary. I can only think of one time when that would have been handy, and that waited just fine until the next day. And the logistical flaws of it are numerous. More importantly, looking at the drones they’re currently testing, I can see a lot of Amazon drones being shot down. 

It does have its upsides of course. If this rolls out, then the Royal Mail may finally have to get their shit together and start delivering a vastly better level of service. No more waiting through a 4 hour window in which the post might come. No more discovering that the postman couldn’t be bothered to knock and deliver your parcel and just shoved a “you weren’t in” note through the door so you have to arrange a re-delivery. Amazon Prime Air could really force a shape up in that department.

But then again, because of the overwhelming convenience of having your shopping delivered in half an hour, rather than at any random time on the delivery day (I’ve had parcels show up at 8pm before), I can see the vast majority of people opting for this service. What’s the problem with that? The air will be thick with the humming of little black robots zipping through the air constantly, at all manner of times. Doesn’t sound so ideal now, does it?

So what do you think about Amazon Prime Air? Convenient, genius move? Irritating, unnecessary sound and light pollution? Encouraging the “sitting on the couch” generation? A solid move that will force a general improvement in other delivery services? It’s hard to pick just one, which makes it tough to decide if I love or hate it. 

Ari Carrington