Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos unveiled the plan on CBS’s “60 Minutes” news program in the U.S., showing interviewerCharlie Rose the flying machines that can serve as delivery vehicles. Bezos said the gadgets, called octocopters, can carry as much as 5 pounds within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfillment center. Amazon may start using the drones, which can make a delivery within 30 minutes, within five years pending Federal Aviation Administration approval, Bezos said.
“It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” he said in the “60 Minutes” interview broadcast yesterday.
Amazon, based in Seattle, has been introducing ways to get products to consumers faster, seeking to keep shoppers coming back to its Web store instead of going to brick-and-mortar retailers. The company said last month it was teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to begin Sunday delivery to members of its $79-a-year Prime program.
Delivery drones also are being used by the Australian company Zookal to deliver textbooks, said Oliver Lamb, director of Sydney-based Pacific Aviation Consulting. In China, the SF Express delivery company is experimenting with drones in the southern city of Dongguan, according to a report by the Civil Aviation Resource Net of China.