Recently, the FAA approved the 亚马逊 UAV to officially start a series of delivery experiments, which can be said to be a big step for 亚马逊 UAV and may become a milestone.
After seven years of research and development, 亚马逊 UAV has finally "taken the post"! On Monday, 亚马逊 obtained the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate the prime air express UAV in the United States. 亚马逊's distribution system has officially entered the era of "sea, land and air". With this certification, 亚马逊 can "deliver packages to customers safely and effectively". In the previous UAV distribution, a security officer should be equipped. Now it can be truly "driverless", which does not need to be realized by operators. David carbon, 亚马逊's vice president in charge of prime air, said that this certification is an important step in the commercial operation of prime air, indicating that FAA is full of confidence in the operation and security of 亚马逊's autonomous UAV delivery service.
Before long, customers around the world will be able to receive their own express from the sky. If 亚马逊's prime air can operate normally, most parts of the United States are expected to realize from order to receipt within 30 minutes.
At the same time, it has the characteristics of helicopter + aircraft, and it only takes 30 points for unmanned house delivery
It has been more than four years since 亚马逊's prime air was launched. Although the UAV delivery service has been missing due to various restrictions, this has not stopped 亚马逊 from continuing to develop the next generation of UAVs. Last year, 亚马逊 released the latest version of the prime air express drone, a hybrid aircraft that can take off and land vertically.
The drone has six degrees of freedom, allowing prime air to fly more dynamically and flexibly. Prime air uses six propellers with strong power. At the same time, its inclined design makes it easier to take off and land. The packages to be delivered are placed in the middle of the fuselage safely.
This UAV can be said to have the characteristics of helicopter and aircraft at the same time. Once in the air after vertical takeoff, the body tilts, and two propellers provide full-time horizontal power, while the other four keep the balance. As a "protective frame", the hexagonal frame also has the same lift function as the wing, further increasing its efficiency.
This new UAV adopts thermal imaging, depth camera and other equipment to detect danger. With the help of AI model, prime air can automatically identify obstacles such as birds and realize safe flight. In order to meet the requirement of 30 minute delivery, prime air can't deliver orders more than 5 pounds (2.25 kg), and the volume can't be too large, and the receiving place must be within 10 miles of 亚马逊 distribution center. Some people may say that with so many restrictions, it is difficult to achieve the expected distribution effect? However, according to 亚马逊's statistics, this load can cover 75% - 90% of express requirements in different regions.
Drone delivery, an industry that is about to replace couriers?
亚马逊 is not the first in the industry to realize commercial distribution of UAVs. The earliest one is big brother alpha. The concept of UAV express was first proposed by 亚马逊. 亚马逊 founder Bezos predicted as early as 2013 that UAV express will become the mainstream business model in five years, but now it has been robbed of the limelight by alphabet. Last October, 谷歌's wing became the first American company approved by FAA to provide UAV transportation services for UPS commercial distribution. This is an important milestone for the U.S. UAV express business.
Wing's UAV distribution due to problems such as airspace management, noise pollution, business model and privacy protection, the United States has issued the first UAV commercial distribution license since last year. According to the license, last October, wing launched a pilot service in Virginia, with a maximum distribution weight of 1.5kg and a maximum flight distance of about 20km.
Before giving 亚马逊 permission this time, the FAA stipulated that UAVs could only fly below 400 feet and must be within sight distance, that is, someone had to watch. Moreover, there are strict restrictions on the flight range of UAV. You don't fly wherever you want, which makes it difficult to reflect the advantages of UAV. In addition, technically, UAVs also need to solve the battery life problem, as well as noise, public privacy, safety and other problems. Last year, 亚马逊 announced the new progress of the new generation of automatic delivery robot 亚马逊 Scout (hereinafter referred to as scout), and brought scout from Seattle to Irvine, Southern California for a larger round of testing. Scout is a small six wheeled vehicle, which is equipped with a series of sensors to help it move automatically and safely on the road.
Interestingly, Scout is small and will only deliver goods during the day from Monday to Friday. When consumers buy something on 亚马逊, you can ship it in the normal way or by scout robot. This time, 亚马逊 UAV was approved by FAA and finally qualified for a taste. 亚马逊 said it would begin Limited package delivery testing for U.S. customers, noting that it still needs to be improved before the unmanned delivery service is widely used. At present, both unmanned and automatic delivery robots have made obvious advantages in the express task of light package and short delivery distance. The era of UAV distribution is still on the way to the future.
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