When Amazon launched its Prime membership service, tons of people were lured in by the free two-day shipping aspect, never mind all the other perks. But Prime members never dreamed there would come a day when those priority packages would be delivered not by a person dressed in brown but by a semi-autonomous flying drone dressed in white and blue. Amazon’s new delivery drone prototype, known as Prime Air (obviously), was originally promised two years ago and now the Washington-based mega retailer has released a teaser ad to show how it’s done.
Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson narrates the teaser video, above, which is – to put it simply – just bloody brilliant. Clarkson walks viewers through a woeful tale of a young girl preparing for a soccer match, only to find that her left cleat has been chewed up by the family dog. The girl’s parents, desperate to ensure she doesn’t miss the game, swiftly place an order with Amazon and then, faster than you can get a mediocre pizza on your doorstep, the Prime Air drone is loaded up with a pair of fresh kicks and flies it to their house. Clarkson describes the drone’s movements with the same gearhead specificity and technical acumen that he used to apply to his favorite luxury supercars, which works pretty nicely in terms of highlighting the “actual footage” Amazon pairs with his ramblings. (The video notes, via watermark, that the flight scenes are not simulated – an important element, given how hotly anticipated this technology truly is.)
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The Prime Air drone can fly up to 15 miles, so you’ll have to live pretty close to an Amazon distribution center in order to take advantage of the service (if it ever does get off the ground, that is). The drone is designed to take off vertically like a helicopter and then switch to a more efficient horizontal flight mode. Due to its size, the drone will only be able to transport small packages. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos originally warned the technology could take “four or five years” to develop fully, but the prototype in this video is pretty awe-inspiring. That said, it isn’t likely that American customers will be getting their new sneaks in 30 minutes or less any time soon, thanks to strict FAA regulations. Amazon is testing the prototype drones in the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel, and the most likely outcome will see the program launch in the U.K. long before it ever debuts in the States. The British TV host and his crew are a lucky bunch, if that turns out to be the case.
Via Fast Company
Images via Amazon