Amazon unveiled its latest drone design at the company’s re:MARS (Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space) Conference that is capable of delivering packages to customers in less than 30 minutes.
In its drone design, Amazon has been working towards creating a machine that can fly up to 15 miles on a charge and deliver packages under five pounds to customers within a 30-minute time window.
To accomplish this, the new drone has advanced features for better efficiency, stability and safety. The drone is capable of vertical takeoffs and landings but has aerodynamic properties of a fixed wing aircraft. The blades are fully shrouded, both for aerodynamic efficiency and safety.
With artificial intelligence capabilities, the drone is able to prevent collisions with objects and adjust to environmental changes automatically. It can identify both static and moving objects coming at it from any direction using sensors and advanced algorithms that gives the drone a full 360-degree, three dimensional view of its surroundings.
The drone is also better able to detect wires in low-altitude flight, especially useful for navigating neighborhoods and yards. The drone will not land if people, animals or obstacles enter into its intended landing zone.
Amazon gave no concrete details about when or if it planned to start using the drone in real-world operations, but in a Verge article Amazon’s consumer worldwide CEO Jeff Wilke said that it would be seen delivering packages to customers in a matter of months.
The Federal Aviation Administration granted the e-commerce giant approval to test its drone delivery in 2015 but so far it is not certain when the company will gain the necessary certification to use it in regular package delivery.