Amazon offering delivery on Sunday was only the beginning.
In an interview with Charlie Rose on Sunday’s episode of “60 Minutes,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the giant online store is developing a drone-based delivery service called Prime Air. According to Bezos, Prime Air would be able to get customers their products only a half-hour after they click the “buy” button. His “optimistic” estimate to “60 Minutes” was that Prime Air will be available to customers within 4 to 5 years.
Prime Air was unveiled to Rose and “60 Minutes” as a surprise, the secret project being part of Amazon’s busy R&D department. The drones will be capable of delivering items up to 5 pounds in weight, which Bezos said account for 86 percent of the items that Amazon delivers. Individual items will be flown from one of the company’s 96 mind-bogglingly massive warehouses, also known as “fulfillment centers.”
Last minute shoppers or those with itchy mouse trigger fingers — especially with Cyber Monday tomorrow — may want to curb their enthusiasm for Prime Air. Amazon is still working on more safety testing and FAA approvals before the Prime Air fleet will be able take flight.
“The hard part here is putting in all the redundancy,” Bezos said. “All the reliability to say this can’t land on somebody’s head.”
Check out Amazon’s video introduction of Prime Air above. You can also watch the full “60 Minutes” segment below. The Prime Air reveal begins at 11:05.
By Drew Guarini