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First orders by drone successfully delivered

Amazon has successfully delivered an order using a drone for the first time. The time from purchase to delivery was only 13 minutes.

05 Jan. 2017 Jörn Brien

Prime Air: Amazon delivers by drone

Amazon Drohne
Prime Air drone delivers Amazon order. (Image: Amazon)

Around a year ago, Amazon introduced a new generation of its Prime Air drones , that are meant to take off like a helicopter and fly like a plane. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had presented a prototype of the delivery drone in late 2013 already. Now the eCommerce giant announced that it has succeeded for the first time in Great Britain in conveying a customer's order using a delivery drone. It took only 13 minutes from order to delivery, as Bezos announced via Twitter on Wednesday.

The drone's delivery was fully automated. According to Amazon, the package consisted of a Fire TV device and a box of popcorn. A video shows the Amazon package being delivered in the customer's yard. So far a total of two customers have received deliveries; the second had ordered an Echo Dot. But in the future, Amazon wants to use Prime Air drones to deliver to dozens, and ultimately hundreds of customers.

It became known about three weeks ago that Amazon has been testing in Great Britain since 2015 – longer than previously suspected. The company is reported to have already acquired the necessary approvals from aviation authorities. Amazon is taking advantage of somewhat laxer regulations in Great Britain concerning fully automated delivery by drone. Drones in the US would need to be supervised by people in flight, which Amazon has repeatedly criticized.

Amazon wants to deliver in 30 minutes or less

When delivery via Prime Air drone will be available as an option to all Amazon customers in Great Britain and in other markets such as Germany, is dependent in part on whether aviation authorities approve the service. Once it is offered, customers who choose Prime Air should be able to receive their order in 30 minutes or less. Currently drones can manage weights of up to 2.3 kilograms. Other providers such as postal services are also working on drone delivery possibilities . And Google is developing its own delivery drones .