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Amazon testing drones for delivery



Amazon Drone
 
Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos says.  The drones, called Octocopters, could deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order, he said.    However, he added that it could take up to five years for the service to start.    The US Federal Aviation Administration is yet to approve the use of unmanned drones for civilian purposes.
 
"I know this looks like science fiction, but it's not," Mr Bezos told CBS television's 60 Minutes programme.  "We can do half-hour delivery... and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86% of the items that we deliver."  "We can do half-hour delivery... and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86% of the items that we deliver."
 
"We can do half-hour delivery... and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86% of the items that we deliver."
'Ready to enter'
 
From a technology point of view, we'll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place”.   The service will be called Prime Air and comes as Amazon is looking to improve its efficiency to boost growth.
 
Amazon also posted a video on its website showing a drone picking up a package from one of its warehouses and delivering it to the doorstep of a customer's house.
However, it still has to wait for permission from US regulators.
 
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the use of drones for police and government agencies, issuing about 1,400 permits over the past several years.
Civilian air space is expected to be opened up to all kinds of drones in the US by 2015 and in Europe by 2016.
 
Amazon said "from a technology point of view, we'll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place".
The FAA was "actively working on rules for unmanned aerial vehicles", the company said, adding that it hoped the green light would be given as early as 2015.
"One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today."
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