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Amazon drone delivery

dronerdave

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The small town of Lockeford not far from me will be allowed to fly drones BVLOS for deliveries into Lockeford residents back yards. I read Amazon sends someone out to survey the landing zone and if approved they can get some items delivered within an hour. Wonder how that's gonna pan out? I'd like to know what determines a safe landing site. We have an Amazon center in our town and I wouldn't be surprised we might see drones in the near future. I'd think a commercial drone would have to have a proven safety record that exceeds what most of us fly??? I'll say that I never thought it would be worth it for a company to deliver small packages in my area due to most yards covered in trees, not to mention all the overhead utility wires. I wonder if an Amazon employee is sitting and monitoring the flight both visually and through telemetry? Interesting anyway. Might have to eat a little crow.

lockeford.PNG

 

The Fat Controller

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Yes, but will they be able to chuck the parcel over your garden fence if you're not in, they way their human drivers do?
 

dronerdave

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Yes, but will they be able to chuck the parcel over your garden fence if you're not in, they way their human drivers do?
Hum, I generally don't have issues with Amazon and most of their drivers are smarter than my gate latch and the package is leftr on the front porch. UPS and especially FedX often leave my orders right on the other side of my gate and an easy grab for anyone walking by. I read these Amazon drone deliveries are going to be dropped into the backyards only...at least for now.
 

The Fat Controller

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Hum, I generally don't have issues with Amazon and most of their drivers are smarter than my gate latch and the package is leftr on the front porch. UPS and especially FedX often leave my orders right on the other side of my gate and an easy grab for anyone walking by. I read these Amazon drone deliveries are going to be dropped into the backyards only...at least for now.
To be fair, in all the years I've been buying from them I could count the 'dodgy' deliveries that directly affected me on one hand, but I've heard plenty of anecdotes from others about the way parcels have been 'delivered'. My comment was made with tongue firmly in cheek. :)
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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Not sure if viable drone deliveries will ‘take off’ as these big companies hope (pun intended).

I’ve seen first hand how strange and seemingly ‘novelty like’ a trial in the Australian state of Queensland operates (Google Alphabet Wing).

Wing drone delivery, Loganlea, Queensland, Australia

This was a packet of Tim Tam biscuits, regular supermarket pricing, viability where ?

Drone deliveries will someday be viable, and all of these initial trials are a step in that direction.
I’m sure there are going to be incidents, probably in excess of the numbers we see in regular commercial / recreational drone use as we know it.

The Amazon press release has a little more info.


As per photo they are very large 6 motor drones, probably to try and increase payload a little and to cope (fly) if a motor malfunctions.

Google Alphabet Wing drones have 12 lift and 2 forward drive motors.
 

Macinfo

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I seriously doubt that drone delivers in dense urban areas will ever happen for a slew of reasons...
 
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LA 2020

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The small town of Lockeford not far from me will be allowed to fly drones BVLOS for deliveries into Lockeford residents back yards. I read Amazon sends someone out to survey the landing zone and if approved they can get some items delivered within an hour. Wonder how that's gonna pan out? I'd like to know what determines a safe landing site. We have an Amazon center in our town and I wouldn't be surprised we might see drones in the near future. I'd think a commercial drone would have to have a proven safety record that exceeds what most of us fly??? I'll say that I never thought it would be worth it for a company to deliver small packages in my area due to most yards covered in trees, not to mention all the overhead utility wires. I wonder if an Amazon employee is sitting and monitoring the flight both visually and through telemetry? Interesting anyway. Might have to eat a little crow.

View attachment 150123

Still don't understand how drone delivery can work without major issues. I put it right up there with flying cars just an accident waiting to happen. I would not put a multi thousand dollar drone out to make a delivery expecting it wouldn't be batted down by neighbors, hit electric wires, miss the target, etc. I'm very careful when flying even when I'm standing right under my drone let alone miles away
 

Ty Pilot

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Every time these threads pop up it's good to give a little perspective as to why drone deliveries will only ever be a novelty or at best, for a very specific, and low density need.

The average Amazon/UPS/FedEx truck delivers between 350 to 500 packages a day (up to 40 per hour) using usually one but sometimes two; relatively low skilled workers. They can deliver these packages in nearly all climates and weather conditions. They can deliver a 50 pound package as easily as a one pound package, makes no difference.

How may drones, sorties, skilled workers, pilots and technicians and infrastructure would it take to replace just one truck? And when you stop to consider your average Amazon fulfillment center has hundreds of these trucks that go out every single day . . . . and there are hundreds if not thousands of these centers all across the country.

Unless loosing money becomes popular among the Bezos types, mass drone delivery is never going to happen. A few drone deliveries here and there as a publicity stunt to make them look 'forward thinking' and cutting edge? Sure. Maybe to look a little 'green'? Yep. But never on a mass scale.


amazonSmall.jpg
 

MA2 317

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I read Amazon sends someone out to survey the landing zone and if approved they can get some items delivered within an hour.

That person should've just brought the package to you and you wouldn't have to wait another hour. 😃
 

dronerdave

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My comment was made with tongue firmly in cheek. :)
Yeah but I do have video of FedX throwing one of my orders over my fence :confused:

Personally I never thought drone delivery would get too far. In the future we might see Amazon use large container delivery for site to site transportation from one center to another using a multi-rotor big enough to deal with the loads but even that may take years. We'll see how this mini-drone delivery pans out in Lockeford. I wonder how many new drone delivery related employees are being generated at Amazon 🤔
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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I do think drone deliveries will someday be viable, and all of these initial trials are a step in that direction.
Getting the systems in place takes time, done on a micro scale is the first step.

I can see trucks as hubs / nests, drive somewhere along a route, deploy 2, 3, 4 drones or whatever to deliver packages within a few mile radius, return and drive on to the next logical point to deploy drones effectively to deliver off the beaten path.
This will save time / fuel in some instances, and I think in metro areas / larger regional towns, road based delivery will be FAR more viable for a long time to come.
 

Remote Pilots Australia

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Well, I live in Logan City as mentioned by MAvic_South_Oz which was the first place world wide posited for drone delivery. After scoping it out wing decided it was perhaps a little ambitious for a first attempt and kicked off the first live trial in Canberra and then came back here a year or so afterwards with the experience gained. We’ve had drone delivery for going on 3 years now I think.

It’s been remarkably free of serious issues, there were some noise complaints early on but a new generation of delivery aircraft has mostly seen an end to those issues. There has been one or two clashes with unruly wildlife who took exception to the interlopers (this is Australia after all) but as far as I am aware there has been no incidents resulting involving injury or property damage and the range of goods available is increasing all the time from hardware to personal hygiene products. We live about 7 or 8km from the dispatch point and the KFC chicken fillet burgers are still hot when they get here. I’m also quite surprised at the drop point accuracy. I live in an old area with large blocks but some have been sub divided and two homes built on the one block and yet the deliveries are accurately winched down in the 5m gaps between home every time. I can assure you there was no survey of delivery areas by Wing or anyone else and it’s all done on GPS and overhead imagery.

That said, as others have pointed out you’re not going to make a profit after the sort of outlay required to set this all up by delivering fast food and cheap Chinese nick nacks. I’ve had this discussion with a lot of other commercial operators locally and the general consensus is that this is about air space management and companies positioning themselves advantageously for when the government opens it for tender.

At some point when drone technologies have progressed enough and market saturation has reached a certain level the government is going to mandate an automated full coverage integrated drone airspace management system and rather than remake the wheel they’re going to put it out the tender and at that point Wing/Amazon whoever are going to politely “cough cough, excuse me but we have been doing this with our own fleets for decades now … why not let us handle that for you?”

And that my friends … is where the mega bucks lie.

Regards
Ari
 

Kayak Rob

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.... we keep hearing about Amazon and Walmart and drone home delivery.

As we all know how we check our favorite app to check if we are in a "legal" fly zone,
and the many discussions here that have been made here..

All this "drone home delivery" has me both laughing and pondering in dismay...
Weight requirements and restrictions we have.
Flying zones restrictions we have.
Visual Line of Sight (VLOS)
etc...

The idea of drone delivery with a 10lb payload, and the weight of that drone...
and we have restrictions over 250grams... geeeshhh.

One of the problems Amazon and Walmart etc are having with is
Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS).....
The say the idea for delivery is in rural areas...

I am totally on the road... and all my time is in rural areas.
Forget about next day delivery... and often deliveries are 3-5 day added.
Sometimes a week.
Drone delivery is said to work out of a distribution hub...
Really... how far is that hub... 10 miles... 30... 60 miles ??

I have an Air 2S... and I don't think it is very quiet...
I can't imagine how loud a drone capable of flying any distance
with a payload could be.
"in the news today.... mother's complain because Amazon
Drone Delivery noise disturb baby's sleep cycle...."


ohhh..... I can't wait to start reading in the news...
"Amazon drone operators leak information how they are
under paid, over worked, and forced to pee in Starbucks cups
because they cannot leave their desks while monitoring

drone deliveries....."
 

SoCal2S

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Somebody's pet or child is going to get hit by the dropped packages, it's only a matter of time. You simply can't program in every situation.
 

Remote Pilots Australia

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Somebody's pet or child is going to get hit by the dropped packages, it's only a matter of time. You simply can't program in every situation.
They don’t actually drop the packages as it operates here. The drone hovers at about 15m and winches it down in a container, the customer unclips it and it rewinds the winch and flys off. As far as I am aware there’s been no reported cases of one losing it’s payload in the 3 or 4 years they’ve been operating. I’m sure it’ll happen eventually but everything happens eventually.
 
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MAvic_South_Oz

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Remote Pilots Australia

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It actually detaches itself (unless that's changed since 9 months ago), as per my link post #6.

Relinked here Wing drone delivery, Loganlea, Queensland, Australia
That would be what it changed to would be my guess. I had a couple of deliveries when they first started trials to see how it worked (as you do right? lol) and you unclipped your own. As I mentioned earlier they introduced a second generation aircraft due to noise complaints. I’d guess that was another upgrade done at that time.
 
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MAvic_South_Oz

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That would be what it changed to would be my guess. I had a couple of deliveries when they first started trials to see how it worked (as you do right? lol) and you unclipped your own. As I mentioned earlier they introduced a second generation aircraft due to noise complaints. I’d guess that was another upgrade done at that time.
Ah, unclipping would have been a potential hazard for sure, and yes I’ve seen Amazon drones with 2 forward motors, and like the one in my linked video, 4 forward motors.
Evolving as it will, will probably look a lot different in the future no doubt.
 
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