Bezos says Amazon's drones will be as common as mail trucks

Technically Incorrect: Amazon's CEO says he doesn't measure drone delivery's arrival in months. He does say, though, that he expects the service to be ubiquitous.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

It's not going to be the Amazon's Flying Circus yet. James Martin/CNET

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

I wonder what proportion of the world is already looking forward to having their talcum powder and garden tools delivered by drone.

Ever since Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos floated the notion, I've been excited about what life will be like when the air is constantly filled with the same sound as when my neighbor cuts his trees with a chainsaw.

Bezos remains excited about this too. In an interview with the Telegraph, he said that he expects the sight of his Prime Air drones to be "as common as seeing a mail truck."

I don't know about you, but I'm seeing mail trucks less and less. Still, how soon will this alleged commonness be apparent to all?

"Months sounds way too aggressive to me," he said. "So the timescale is measured in years."

It might seem odd that given all the pleasure and nuisance that drones are effecting already, Amazon can't get a few hundred into the sky to at least deliver satin sheets to the sleepless in Seattle.

Bezos explained to the Telegraph: "The biggest issue, or the biggest thing that needs to be worked on, is the regulatory side."

He said he wasn't as impressed with the way regulation was progressing in the US, as compared with, say, the UK. He insisted, though, that the drones will happen and that the technical problems are "very straight ahead."

There again, if a new and highly critical New York Times article about Amazon's management practices is anything to go by, straight ahead is the only way Amazon knows.

Government entities, however, seem fonder of circles. At what point might the two meet in harmony? At what point, when Amazon is able to deliver just about anything, will we be tired of seeing drones in the sky?

In the interview, Bezos also said that other entrepreneurs affect his limbs. He said: "I just get all weak-kneed around entrepreneurs. I just love it. If I have a meeting with an entrepreneur, I'm always charmed by them."

I'm not sure if he's met Donald Trump.

Still, it might be that Bezos's drones will come to symbolize Amazon's ultimate conquest of the retail environment, just as Trump's helicopter now represents his dominance of the political environment.