Amazon wraps up 2022 with drone deliveries in California and Texas

amazon drone delivery california texas

Amazon’s drone delivery program has finally taken off with the tech giant successfully delivering packages to customers in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, on Christmas Eve.

Amazon had shortlisted these two sites as its first drone delivery locations back in the summer, explaining that customers in Lockeford and College Station will be able to see Prime Air-eligible items (weighing 5 pounds or less) on Amazon, place an order as they normally would, and receive an estimated arrival time with a status tracker for their order.

The standard arrival time for this ultrafast delivery service is under an hour at present, but eventually the retailer wants to be able to deliver a vast selection of items via drones within 30 minutes.

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In the months following the announcement of its US drone delivery service, Amazon had been awaiting a decision from the regulators on the possible environmental impact of its proposed operations. The go-ahead for the California site came in November, but the Texas location was cleared for operations only in early December.

In the meantime, Amazon revealed plans for its next-generation delivery drone: the MK30. Due to come into service in 2024, this drone is said to be lighter and smaller than the MK27-2 – the drone made deliveries in Lockeford and College Station over the weekend (below left).

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While the company has yet to share more details about its first drone delivery orders or the distance traveled by its aircraft in Lockeford and College Station, David Carbon, vice president of Prime Air at Amazon, took to social media to say:

These are careful first steps that we will turn into giant leaps for our customers over the next number of years. Customers are our obsession, safety is our imperative, the future of delivery is our mandate, technology is unlocking that future and our people are the foundation it all sits on.

Amazon has taken on the target of delivering 500 million packages by drones to its customers annually by the end of this decade. And while Prime Air may have started out for small towns, the company aims to see its delivery drones catering to highly populated areas such as Boston, Atlanta, and Seattle as well before 2030.

“We know our customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is safe and reliable. Our drones can encounter new, unexpected situations and still make safe decisions—autonomously and safely. We’ve created a sophisticated and industry-leading sense-and-avoid system that will allow our drones to operate at greater distances while safely and reliably avoiding other aircraft, people, pets, and obstacles,” Amazon says.

Read: Weed-hunting drones help police bust illegal marijuana farms

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