In 2013, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, announced that the company was planning to make deliveries by drone. It seemed like a barking idea at the time and was dismissed by many as a publicity stunt. But that was then and this is now. The Amazon drones are already in the air. The autonomous copters are currently being tested, so it looks like Mr. Bezos wasn’t so crazy after all.
The retail giant aims to be able to deliver parcels to customers in 30 minutes and claims that the drones will be safer, greener and cheaper than delivery vans on the road. Amazon is based in Seattle but the tests are being conducted in the UK and have been approved by the Government.
Amazon made strenuous attempts to keep the location of the test flights a secret but failed! If you want to take a sneaky peak at what is going on, then you need to head for Fleam Dyke in Cambridgeshire. But we didn’t tell you that!
As soon as the plan to use drones was announced there was much discussion about the potential problems with the proposed service which will be called Prime Air. Concerns have been raised over safety. Will the drones represent a threat to aircraft? Could the drones crash into each other and fall to the ground?
Amazon has said that they will be operating a high-tech system with the appropriate safety measures built in. The drones will be programmed to abort their journey and return to base or to find a safe place to land if they detect any problems. One can only hope that if there is a problem, the drones do indeed detect it!
As it turns out, Amazon are currently trying to resolve what they see as a serious potential issue. But their concerns have nothing to do with hitting aeroplanes or their drones dropping out of the sky. What they are really worried about is pet dogs!
Dogs and Drones Don’t Mix
The worry is that dogs may interfere with the drones when they land to make their deliveries. Dogs may feel threatened by the drones and could attack them to protect their territory. The drone and the goods it is carrying could be damaged or destroyed and the dog could get hurt.
Amazon is now using a simulated dog as part of their testing program! It is not known whether this cyber canine was developed by Amazon themselves or was commissioned. The company has not been prepared to discuss the simulated dog and journalists who have travelled to Cambridgeshire in an attempt to spy on proceedings have yet to see any sign of it in action.
A Dog’s Dinner
It looks like we could be seeing Prime Air drones in the skies in the not too distant future. There are issues to resolve before deliveries can commence including how to tackle the threat of the odd angry pooch. Let’s hope that Amazon don’t make a dog’s dinner of it all. Talking of dogs’ dinners, some of those drones could end up carrying dog food. Now that would attract some canine attention!
How do you think your dog would react to a drone landing on the drive?