You Can Finally Get Amazon Packages Delivered By Drone, But There’s A Catch

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Putting aside the fact that Amazon is still hammering things out with the FAA, this is more of a trial run in order to see how the system performs in a more public environment. In light of that, automated aerial deliveries will likely be happening but in a limited capacity and within a limited location.

About 100 miles to the east of San Francisco sits the small community of Lockeford, California, which is Amazon’s choice for its Prime Air testing site. According to Amazon, Lockeford residents will be able to sign up for the program, purchase Prime Air-eligible items, then receive the expected order status tracking and ETA for delivery. After that, a drone will be dispatched to a designated location, descend into the customer’s backyard, drop the package from what Amazon says is a safe height, then be on its way.

The feedback Amazon receives from Lockeford participants will be used to further refine the program and its drone technology — something that will also hopefully include additional consideration for packaging, because Amazon’s typical packing approach may not work out so well if the boxes are being dropped straight on the ground from any significant height. Amazon hasn’t given any specific dates for when it thinks Prime Air may expand its testing area or become more widely available, but it does expect the program to grow over the next several months and years.

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