Back in 2013, when e-commerce giant Amazon first announced it was working on a project that would allow customer packages to be delivered via drones, many thought it was a joke.
Aside from the red-tape the company has faced due to tight restrictions on commercial drone use imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, Prime Air’s promise to deliver packages to users in 30 minutes or less seemed fairly optimistic.
But, on Sunday, Amazon released a two-minute video showing one of its Prime Air drones in action, proving that it’s making headway with the project.
The commercial, which starts former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, shows the drone launching out of the Amazon warehouse, flying through the air and delivering it straight to the customer’s front lawn.
In the video, Clarkson notes the company has a number of drones designed for different environments. However, this particular drone reaches a height of 400 feet vertically, before travelling up to 15 miles away from the warehouse horizontally.
The drone uses “sense and avoid technology” technology to avoid objects in its flight path and scans the ground for a clear landing area.
Despite the new commercial, Amazon has not yet announced a launch date for the Prime Air program. The FAA has not yet finalized its rules for commercial drone use in the U.S.
Amazon has not said if it plans to bring the service to Canada.
But Amazon has been testing its package delivering drones in Canada over the last year.
“We are rapidly experimenting and iterating on Amazon Prime Air, working to make it a reality; this includes controlled flight testing in multiple international locations, including outdoors at a rural test site in Canada,” a spokesperson told Global News in March.
Commercial and recreational drone use in Canada is regulated by Transport Canada.
Even though there are a number of restrictions in place, businesses can obtain a commercial licence to operate drones for profit in stark contrast to the United States, where most of commercial drone use is still largely prohibited.