Amazon Drone: Revolutionary Delivery System

by J C
Humble Beginnings
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, Inc. worked in investment banking before he would create the conglomerate company known worldwide in 1994 by starting out as an online bookstore. Bezos’ reasoning for creating an online store was the “2,300 percent annual growth in web usage” (Price III, 2013) that was experienced during this time. With Amazon, Inc. being a pure online store with a wide database, it allowed the company to house numerous amounts of books without the limitations of on location bookstores.
When Jeff Bezos hired new employees, he emphasized on customer service as being the number one trait and priority for his new recruits. He would also have humble desks for his workers to use which would be “made of doors and 2x4s” (Price III, 2013) not only because they were least costly but to show the work environment that Bezos hoped to create. Within the next few years, Amazon, Inc. would become millionaire company and within the later years in the billions.
The Amazon Drone
The idea of the drone is to deliver packages in thirty minutes for faster satisfaction from customers and to hopefully pave a way for a normal form of deliveries for other companies in the near future. A viral video of this drone, a.k.a. the Octocopter, has circulated over the web showing the process of how the delivery process would work. In the video, an Amazon warehouse worker puts a single item into a small, plastic yellow tub. The box then travels on a conveyor belt, which stops under a Prime Air Octocopter. The Octocopter grabs the package and takes off outside the warehouse doors. It continues to fly over fields, urban areas, and finally reaches its destination dropping the package off at the front of the door. Bezos says that these drones will only be able to carry up to 5 pounds which accounts for “86 percent of the items Amazon currently delivers” (Maisto, 2013). Amazon continues to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on rules for unmanned aerial vehicles to be permitted in the urban skies (Maisto, 2013). By 2015, Amazon anticipates to begin implementing the Octocopters in their Prime deliveries with the hope that the FAA’s rules will be in action by that time.
Complications
An expert on unmanned aerial vehicles named Dr. Darren Ansell brought up a few challenges that Amazon will face with its drone debut. Ansell talks about the Octocopter’s awareness saying that “The UAVs do not currently have the awareness of their environment to be able to avoid flying into people… to deliver goods to people’s home for example in residential areas, the UAVs must overfly densely populated towns and cities, something that today’s regulations prevent” (Maisto, 2013). Ansell also talks about the security issues suggesting that since the drones are unguarded that they are vulnerable to theft as well as with the package.
Some people are also concerned that with the implementation of the drone, the postal service will only have the task of returning unwanted packages. Amazon, however, have had talks with the United States Postal Service to reserve Sunday as a shipping day for them (Rash, 2013). This idea is already in effect in the New York and Los Angeles area and in time will apply nationwide.
Conclusion
The Amazon drone will revolutionize the delivery system we know today by enacting a faster way to receive packages. As with every new process, there are some issues to overcome, as well as some barriers to deal with. However, Amazon, Inc. has already started on ways to work with government organizations to overcome some of these obstacles by working with already placed laws on air travel. The Amazon drone is something of a work of fiction that will be seen by all in the near future.

 

References
Maisto, M. (2013). Amazon Says Drone-Based 30-Minute Deliveries Are Coming. Eweek, 4.

Price III, R. A. (2013). Cash Flows at Amazon.com. Issues In Accounting Education, 28(2), 353-
374. doi:10.2308/iace-50182

Rash, W. (2013). Amazon Delivery Drones Could Hike Flight Risks in Crowded Urban Skies.
Eweek, 3.

12 thoughts on “Amazon Drone: Revolutionary Delivery System

  • January 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm
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    “conglomerate” – awesome choice of word! I think it would be really awesome to see this idea come to life. Additionally, I think it would be cool if people could buy their own Amazon Drone to retrieve the package from a warehouse for a reduced Prime membership cost or even force the cost of the drones on the consumer entirely. This would make logistics a heck of a lot easier on the company.

    Realistically, I do NOT see the FAA giving Amazon the clear on something like this by 2015. I think this will take a while to really be implemented; maybe we can expect something before the end of the decade.

  • March 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm
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    According to this infographic (http://www.esilverbullet.com/blog/files/2011/12/infographic.png), $38 billion was done in online retail spending in the first quarter of 2011. I wonder how much business that brought to shipping and logistics companies. I’m all for recreational technology but for the “jobs” advocator, drone shipping will encroach on the territory of companies that still use human labor to ship online orders. Amazon being the online counterpart of Walmart, both monoliths in retail, I’d like to see this play out against the scope of employment of shipping companies.

    I liked your topic, it was a good read.

  • March 8, 2014 at 5:09 pm
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    Great Idea and Hopefully it will be here soon. I think for shipping everyday small items, this will save in cost time and money. Unlike Kevin’s approach i disagree and i believe this will cause more jobs instead of less.

  • March 10, 2014 at 2:35 pm
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    I think this is a really cool idea however I find that the drone’s complications outweigh the benefits especially with security/theft issues and air traffic. According to an article I read online, I found that the drone is vulnerable to hacking. In fact, a group of researchers from the University of Texas recently hacked a sophisticated drone using a store-bought GPS system.

  • March 17, 2014 at 2:42 pm
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    I saw this a long time ago and I was really excited to see it yet concerned at the same time. I am unsure how having drones flying around will affect people and how they would be able to implement a flawless system to make this work. With people being people, drones can get “shot” down (not necessarily shot down) but stolen and people’s packages would be lost as well as those people having to pay for the mishap. There are a lot of issues taht need to be worked out but I cant wait to see how it pans out.

  • March 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm
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    I wonder why Amazon would want to do it this way while there is a much better way. Google has implemented a same day delivery service called Google Shopping Express. They use Toyota Priuses to pick up the delivery from a retailer and deliver them to the customer in 3-5 hours. I think their way is much better than what Amazon is planning considering the amount of trouble Amazon has to go through to implement their idea. Google’s way has already been proven effective, it is safer, and lastly, it can be implemented easier and faster.

  • March 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm
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    I think the biggest problem to the drones is their safety. The drones are just to prone to being tampered with by people since they’re so close to the ground. The benefits of the drone simply do not outweigh the risks. I’d imagine it would take at least a few dozen deliveries for a single drone to become profitable, but it only takes one kid with a basketball to break something worth thousands.

  • March 17, 2014 at 11:43 pm
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    As much as this idea is alluring I feel like it is something that will become an argue of necessity because in many situations I feel like if someone needs an item in urgency they will go to the store or have to purpose a delay in their plans. The other flaw is that since the houses need to be within close range of a warehouse I feel like the places that might need this technology are other businesses that are located far away in cities where this will be out of reach.

  • March 18, 2014 at 8:30 pm
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    Its crazy to think that everything is so automized now. Having a purchase delivered by drone instantly could be a gain for a some customers wanting a faster means of purchasing but just like others have mentioned distance, weather and congestion of environments really make me wonder the reliability of this.

  • March 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm
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    Personally, I love this idea, and who doesn’t want own package can be delivered earlier. However, I wish this project won’t create too much air traffic on the sky that you don’t want to see if any of them has problem might crash on you or properties by little bit chance anyhow. ( You probably will see many drones flying over you everyday in the future?! because drone is not like huge commercial aircraft that is more stable upon the air, they are way more easier affected by the weather condition.)

  • March 19, 2014 at 12:06 am
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    when it comes to the drone, I would argue against what many people would say, I find that although the implementation of the drones may have the huge burden of security and logistics concerns, the technology will still thrive. With the financing of a huge company like amazon and the edge this technology would give to its users i feel like the benefits would outweigh any type of monetary issue that would spur up because of security concerns. The way I see it the amount of customers this technology would have along with its possible uses far outweigh the financing needed to make it safe and “legal”.

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:06 am
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    This idea is addressing something Amazon currently doesn’t offer, instant gratification. By that I mean walking into Best Buy and buying that extra hard drive you need. The awareness factor of these drones is pivotal. Once they become autonomous and not relying on much, if any, human interaction, then these can be used on a massive scale. But there’s also another hurdle, the FAA, which currently does not allow for commercial use of drones just yet.

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