- Amazon announced its first commercial drone delivery: A package of popcorn and an Amazon Fire TV to a two-story farmhouse in a rural area of Cambridge, U.K., as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
- The Prime Air program has been waiting three years for the milestone after comprehensive testing and issues with regulations.
- The goal of the drone delivery program is to get packages to customers within 30 minutes and the inaugural flight arrived just 13 minutes after leaving Amazon.
The U.K. has become a major testing area for drone delivery of late: Along with Amazon’s recent milestone, Just Eat announced it completed the first-ever meal delivery by robotic ground-based drone to a Greenwich, London, address in November.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was clearly excited about his company's accomplishment:
Drone delivery has long been a goal of Amazon as a part of its transportation and logistics network and, after this initial test, the company will continue to expand with baby steps measures, adding grounds to a five-square-mile area in rural England over the next few months, per the Journal. Airborne devices like drones, in particular, have the potential to dramatically open up shipping options and new dimensions to omnichannel shopping, but they often rub up against tough federal regulations.
In the past, it's been difficult to pilot drone tests stateside since current FAA laws limit U.S. airspace traffic and drone mobility. Those restrictions will potentially change under President-elect Trump's administration, as he has implied he wishes to privatize air traffic management and wrest regulation authority away from the Federal Aviation Administration in the future.
In other recent drone news tech-side, Apple is reportedly planning on using drones to improve its mapping data.