Amazon could deliver your packages via drone by 2015 (video)

Jeff Bezos shared the futuristic project his company has been working on: delivery of small packages in half an hour or less by small, unmanned helicopters

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Amazon Prime Air

Amazon Prime Air Photograph courtesy Amazon

Imagine if you could order a new DVD in the same amount of time as you call in Chinese food? Amazon could be bringing that futuristic technology to us as early as 2015, CEO Jeff Bezos revealed on 60 Minutes on Sunday. The project is called Prime Air, and it's designed with the goal of delivering packages to customers in 30 minutes or less via autonomous drones.


The secret-until-last-night brainchild of Amazon's Research & Development team, the octocopter (an eight-blade helicopter) would function by pulling hand-packed boxes off the line, traveling to customers using GPS and dropping the package on their doorstep. Don't expect to get a new TV within minutes, though—only packages weighing five pounds or less will be eligible for the drone-delivery service.


According to a brief Q&A released by Amazon, the technology will be ready sometime in 2015, but putting it into action depends on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is currently working on a set of rules to make "unmanned aerial vehicles" safe and viable for commercial enterprises. "One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today," read the statement.


No word yet on how much this delivery option might cost, though we doubt it'll be free like Amazon Prime's venerable two-day service. Watch a prototype of Amazon Prime Air in the video embedded below.



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