Amazon testing 'octocopter' drone package deliveries

Within the next five years, Amazon hopes to be able to use drones to deliver orders in just 30 minutes.

Amazon has revealed that it's testing PrimeAir, a drone-based delivery service that will have packages at your door within 30 minutes of an order being made.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shows CBS' Charlie Rose prototypes of the delivery drones. (Credit: CBS)

The drones in question are "octocopters" — eight-propeller devices big enough to transport shoe-box-size packages from fulfilment centres to customers' homes. The drones use a GPS navigation system to find the right place.

PrimeAir is being tested in the US and, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the service should be up and running in four or five years, pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Bezos explained PrimeAir to Charlie Rose during an interview on the US version of 60 Minutes, saying "I know this looks like science fiction — it's not".

If this all sounds familiar, it's because an Australian text-book rental company announced a very similar service back in October.

The full segment from 60 minutes is embedded below.

About the author

Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.

 

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