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Amazon: the first drone deliveries being tested in California

The first drone deliveries soon available with Amazon. The eu e-commerce giant plans to launch its drone delivery service in California this year, called Prime Air, a mode of transporting goods on which start-ups and large groups, such as Walmart, have been working for years. The e-commerce giant plans to take practical tests in Lockerford, a Californian city, the group announced in a statement on Monday. “Later this year (…) residents will be able to register to be delivered by drone for free”, indicates Amazon, without further details on the date. The company is still awaiting the green light from the authorities.

Consumers will be able to choose “between thousands of everyday products” that will be dropped by the drone in their garden. Their feedback should be used to improve the service, which Amazon hopes to scale up to “meet the needs of customers everywhere”. The group says it created a dozen prototypes before arriving at a model that can identify and avoid obstacles, both static and moving, from chimneys to other aerial devices and pets. “Most drones do not have this capability (…) and require observers to help them avoid risks. They can be deployed fairly quickly, but remain limited to a small operating radius”, assures Amazon.

Up to 4 million households reached

Prime Air did not specify how much weight the drones will be able to carry or how far they will be able to travel. At the end of May, the American retail giant Walmart announced the expansion of its drone delivery service, planning to make it available in 34 locations in the United States by the end of the year. The drones will be operational in six American states (Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia) with the possibility of reaching up to 4 million homes and ensuring more than 1 million deliveries per year, had specified the company.

Walmart customers will be able to order their goods between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and, for a delivery fee of $3.99 (3.75 euros) per order, will have them delivered by airmail within half an hour. . Each delivery may weigh up to 4.5 kg. Walmart, which is seeking to position itself as the leader in this service, will use devices and technology from start-up DroneUp.

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