Friday, February 22, 2019

UK could be the first to test Amazon drone delivery


Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has hinted that the UK could be one of the first to see deliveries using drones.

The online giant is working on Prime Air at a number of research centres in the UK, including one in Cambridge.

“One day Prime Air deliveries will be as common as seeing a mail truck,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph.

“The technical problems are very straight ahead. The biggest issue, or the biggest thing that needs to be worked on, is the regulatory side.

“In the scheme of things the UK regulatory agencies have been very advanced. The FAA [the US aviation regulator] is catching up a little here in the US, but the UK has been, I‘d say, a very encouraging example of good regulation. I think we like what we see there.”

Amazon plans to swap most of its delivery fleet for Prime Air once the drones are approved. Larger packages will still go through conventional routes, but the drones will be able to carry packages in the city with less overhead cost.

On the subject of timeline, Bezos said it will be a few years before Amazon Prime Air is available in the US or the UK.

When speaking about other Amazon initiatives, Bezos gave little away as to whether Amazon Fresh – the company‘s fresh food delivery service – will make it to the UK.

Despite rumours that a trial could begin in Hackney, central London, before the end of this year, Bezos would only point out the success of the venture in Seattle and seven other American cities, and suggest we stay tuned in the UK.

Charlotte Brown