Ex-Boeing executive David Carbon will spearhead the Amazon Prime Air delivery by drone service. In 2013, Jeff Bezos famously announced that deliveries by drone would be a common sight in a matter of four to five years, and that hasn’t exactly panned out yet. But the online retailer is still focused on making parcel deliveries by drone a reality.
Today, CNET reports that Amazon has hired David Carbon, the ex-Boeing 787 program vice president to become vice president in charge of Amazon’s Prime Air. It’s a program that Amazon has designed to safely deliver packages by drone to customers in 30 minutes or less.
Carbon will spearhead Amazon’s team of “aviation, robotics, hardware, software, and manufacturing experts in the development of Prime Air vehicles, systems and operations” to make delivery by drone a reality.
‘We’re very excited David Carbon joined Amazon to lead the next phase of our mission to bring 30 minute delivery by drones to customers,’ Brad Porter, vice president of robotics at Amazon, said in a statement. ‘David has over 20 years of experience bringing ground-breaking aerospace innovations to scale safely and reliably and we look forward to his contributions as we scale up our manufacturing and customer delivery operations.’
David Carbon succeeds Gur Kimchi who had been in charge of Amazon’s Prime Air for the last seven years.
Amazon noted in a statement that David Carbon “has over 20 years of experience bringing ground-breaking aerospace innovations to scale safely and reliably,” and that he will now bring this experience “to lead the next phase of our mission to bring 30-minute delivery by drones to customers.”
In 2016, Amazon made its first successful delivery by drone in the UK. In the US, Amazon has not yet been able to make as much headway since the company was not included in the UAS IPP Program that was launched in 2018.
The Federal Aviation Administration has only recently allowed companies such as UPS and Wing Aviation to start testing with drones to make parcel deliveries, and reportedly, Amazon has only recently received permission to test deliveries in the US.
Deliveries by a drone can be significantly more cost-effective than deliveries of small packages by truck. A small parcel can be delivered by drone for about $0.05 per mile, which is 1/30th the cost of delivery by truck.
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