Amazon has begun testing Prime Air, its 30-minute drone delivery service, in Cambridge, England.
(CCM) — Goods ordered by two Amazon customers are now delivered to their homes by drone within 30 minutes of ordering, the company has announced. The customers are the first two members of a test program for Amazon's Prime Air service, which was first announced three years ago. The two shoppers live within a few miles — but just over the horizon — from Amazon's first Prime Air fulfillment center, which is located close to the city of Cambridge in the U.K. The country was chosen because Amazon has received official permission there to operate autonomous flights beyond line-of-site after extensive safety tests. The test program will be expanded to "dozens" and then "hundreds" of participants in the near future, Amazon says.
The drone making the Prime Air deliveries is a classic quadcopter and is capable of carrying packages that weigh up to five pounds. It is guided by GPS and lands on a small rectangular mat bearing an Amazon symbol laid out in the customer's backyard. Prime Air's maiden order was a package containing an Amazon Fire TV device and a packet of popcorn, and it was delivered last week just 13 minutes after the order was placed.
Image: © Amazon.