A patent has been filed by ecommerce giant Amazon for a flying warehouse, utilising drone technology to speed up deliveries.
Amazon proposed the idea for an “airborne fulfillment centre” (AFC) in 2014 in the US. This technology would see a giant airship stationed up to 45,000ft above heavily populated areas, storing popular items to allow far faster delivery.
Their patent also proposes plans to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to ferry workers to and from the stations, as well as to position the AFCs above stadiums and festival sites, selling popular merchandise and using drones to deliver freely.
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The patent reads: “The AFC may be an airship that remains at a high altitude (eg 45,000ft) and UAVs with ordered items may be deployed from the AFC to deliver ordered items to user-designated delivery locations.
“As the UAVs descend, they can navigate horizontally toward a user-specified delivery location using little to no power, other than to stabilise the UAV and/or guide the direction of descent.
“Shuttles (smaller airships) may be used to replenish the AFC with inventory, UAVs, supplies, fuel, etc. Likewise, the shuttles may be utilised to transport workers to and from the AFC.”
Amazon successfully carried out its first drone delivery last month, and is pumping resources into its drone delivery project.