Remember when we all scoffed at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' 2013 claim that his company was developing a drone delivery system? Well, according to a company announcement, their plan to unleash hoards of autonomous flying robots on the world is progressing swimmingly. Dubbed Prime Air, the as-of-yet unrealized service seeks to deliver goods in 30 minutes or less via aerial drones — a brand new prototype of which was unveiled today.
Much like with Google Project Wing, the new Prime Air drones take off and land vertically, but fly in a manner more associated with planes than quadcopter drones.
In a video demonstrating the new drone prototype, Amazon suggests the revolutionary technology could serve to quickly deliver you a shoe after the family dog chews up your child's soccer cleats. Which: way to aim high, guys.
Amazon provides some details as to what we should and should not expect from Prime Air, detailing the drones' capabilities and limitations.
"Flying under 400 feet and weighing less than 55 pounds," the Amazon statement reads, "Prime Air vehicles will take advantage of sophisticated 'sense and avoid' technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of 10 miles or more."
Consumerist notes that the 55 pound design is in response to forthcoming FAA regulations that may limit automated drones to that weight.
As to when we should expect to see drones hitting the skies above San Francisco, Amazon isn't exactly clear.
"We will deploy when and where we have the regulatory support needed to safely realize our vision," the announcement reads.
So, in other words, don't hold your breath.