// Amazon is set to start delivering orders by drone later this year
// The service will start in the Californian town of Lockeford, with residents asked to give their feedback that will help Amazon make the fulfilment option scalable
Amazon will begin delivering parcels to customers by drone this year, pending approval from regulators.
Prime Air will make its first commercial deliveries by drone in Lockeford in California later this year, which will be free on thousands of everyday items.
Residents in Lockeford will be asked to give their feedback on the drone delivery service, which will help Amazon create a service that it can “safely scale to meet the needs of customers everywhere”.
Amazon is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and local officials in Lockeford to obtain permission to undertake the deliveries.
The retailer said in a blog: “The promise of drone delivery has often felt like science fiction. We’ve been working for almost a decade to make it a reality.”
“Later this year, Amazon customers living in Lockeford, California, will become among the first to receive Prime Air deliveries.”
Amazon has said it has worked to ensure its drone delivery is safe and avoids all obstacles.
It said: “We’ve created a sophisticated and industry-leading sense-and-avoid system that will enable operations without visual observers and allow our drone to operate at greater distances while safely and reliably avoiding other aircraft, people, pets, and obstacles.”
Once onboarded, customers in Lockeford will see Prime-Air eligible items on Amazon. When they place an order they will receive an estimated arrival time and status tracker for their order, and the drone will fly to the designated delivery location, descend to the customer’s backyard, and hover at a safe height. It will then safely release the package and rise back up to altitude.
The retailer said it will aim to get packages to customers safely in less than an hour.