Home TECH Drone delivery ready to launch in California town

Drone delivery ready to launch in California town

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Amazon is moving a step closer to delivering your order by drone.

On Monday, Amazon confirmed it will begin offering deliveries through Amazon Prime Air, which uses drones to drop off customers’ orders.

Customers in Lockeford, Calif. will be the first to receive the option of having Amazon orders delivered to their homes by drone.

“Lockeford residents will play an important role in defining the future,” reads a statement from Amazon. “Their feedback about Prime Air, with drones delivering packages in their backyards, will help us create a service that will safely scale to meet the needs of customers everywhere.”

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What is Prime Air?

Originally unveiled in 2013 during a “60 Minutes” interview with Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos, Prime Air is a delivery service leveraging drones to drop off customer orders.

“One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today,” the company said in 2013.

Two years ago, the Federal Aviation Administration approved Amazon to use Prime Air for drone deliveries.

The service will deliver packages weighing up to five pounds in less than an hour.

Amazon said thousands of everyday items are eligible under Prime Air.

How will Prime Air work?

When a customer places an order eligible for Prime Air, they’ll receive an estimated arrival time and status tracker for their package.

The drone uses a sense-and-avoid system to safely fly packages while also dodging obstacles such as other objects and aircraft.

“As our drone descends to deliver the package into a customer’s backyard, the drone ensures that there’s a small area around the delivery location that’s clear of any people, animals, or other obstacles,” Amazon said.

Once it gets low enough, the drone will release the package and fly off.

Who else is trying drone delivery?

Earlier this year, Walmart announced plans to expand its DroneUp delivery network to 34 sites by the end of this year. Walmart said the network could reach up to 4 million households in six states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Items including Tylenol, diapers and hot dog buns could be delivered in as little as 30 minutes, the retailer said.

Also drone company Wing, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, announced in April plans to launch a commercial drone delivery service in Dallas. Walgreens is among the retailers partnering with Wing to offer items delivered by drone.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23.

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