Amazon Prime Air Makes Its First Drone Delivery in the U.S.

March 24, 2017 10:30 am
TRACY, CA - JANUARY 20: Boxes move along a conveyor belt at an Amazon fulfillment center on January 20, 2015 in Tracy, California. Amazon officially opened its new 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center in Tracy, California that employs more than 1,500 full time workers as well as 3,000 Kiva robots that can fetch merchandise for workers and are capable of lifting up to 750 pounds. Amazon is currently using 15,000 of the robots spread over 10 fulfillment centers across the country. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Amazon Prime package. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Getty Images


Amazon Prime Air, the e-commerce giant’s drone delivery service, has been in the works for quite some time, but it just took its first flight in the United States.

The flying robot delivered a few bottles of sunscreen at Amazon’s invite-only MARS conference in Florida this week. The order was pre-arranged, but the delivery was fully autonomous, The Verge reports.

Amazon said the test brought the U.S. “one step closer to making 30-minute package delivery by drone a reality.” According to The Verge, the delivery was conducted in conjunction with the F.A.A.


Currently, drone deliveries are illegal because there are no regulations to govern it, but companies like Amazon and UPS are working with the federal government to create laws that allow for it. The biggest barrier for drone delivery systems to overcome is establishing a low-altitude air traffic control system.

Prime Air first flew last year in the United Kingdom as a demonstration, but Monday’s flight stateside was its first public demo.


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