Will An Amazon Drone Be Delivering Your Package Anytime Soon? You Decide!

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On Sunday, December 1st, Jeff Bezos the founder and CEO of retail giant Amazon sent shock waves across the nation with his announcement that within a few years, the company would be using aerial drones to make deliveries. Called Amazon Prime Air, it will be available to transport packages of up to five pounds within a ten miles radius of one of the company's numerous fulfillment centers.

Mr. Bezos then went on to demonstrate the service with an impressive video of an octocopter picking up a package from one of the centers and zipping it across town, all within 30 minutes of the customer hitting the 'buy' button! Not surprisingly, the announcement made headlines across the country, leading many skeptics to declare that it was just a marketing ploy to put Amazon in the limelight for Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year!

Even Mr. Bezos agrees that idea is a little audacious. Drone technology has to yet to be perfected and then are some basic safety issues that have to be addressed. Things like how the octocopters would avoid colliding with each other as they zip across the blue skies or even worse, injuring people, as they descend to make deliveries. Given that 86% of Amazon's sales comprise of small goods and the fact that every retailer will want to grab some air action, this could be a major hurdle to overcome.

If the US Federal Aviation Authority does sanction the drones for commercial use and experts think that is a big IF, there are numerous other issues that will still need to be resolved. Will the octocopters be able to handle changes in weather? How do you avoid the drones from being shot down or stolen as they descend to make deliveries? Will the drones have enough battery power to make the 20-mile round trip? Will they need special landing pads? Will . . .? And so on and so forth!

While the CEO is confident that these hurdles can be overcome and that as futuristic as it sounds, Amazon Prime Air will one day become a reality, others are not so sure. But the one thing that everyone does agree upon is that if anybody can pull it off, it will be Jeff Bezos, the visionary that transformed a simple online bookstore into one of the world's biggest retailers.

Though Amazon is the first company to dream of drone deliveries on such a large scale, it is by no means the pioneer. SF Express has been using them to deliver packages in Southern China on a limited basis since the beginning of the year. Australian textbook rental startup Zookai plans to start a similar service in Sydney, in 2014. Whether Amazon will be able to pull it off in the US, depends on what the strict Federal Aviation Authority thinks of the idea. Meanwhile, we will just have to be content with getting our precious packages delivered to us the old-fashioned way.

Resources: wired.com, cnn,com, cbs.com

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audaciouscontentcyber mondaydescendfuturisticpioneerploysanctionskepticsvisionary

Reading Comprehension (3 questions)

  1. What did the Jef Bezos announce on December 1st? What is the service going to be called? What is the maximum weight and distance it will be available for?
  2. How was the announcement received by the world? What are some of the hurdles that need to be overcome before the service can be implemented?

Critical Thinking Challenge

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  • CSTIGERThursday, November 15, 2018 at 9:50 am
    Who chooses people to control the drones???
    • CSTIGERThursday, November 15, 2018 at 9:49 am
      What would happen if you ordered drinks and then they spilled in the box???Then the person would be soooo angry and never use Amazon Prime Air ever again!!!
      • CeetigerThursday, November 15, 2018 at 9:46 am
        I think it's cool that they deliver it in 30 min but what if it malfunctions and crashes you won't get your package.
        • ektigerThursday, November 15, 2018 at 9:42 am
          In my opinion it should have a video camera that is pretty tough that will record who did something to it.
          • amm tigerThursday, November 15, 2018 at 9:33 am
            I would be so nervous that my thing would fall out
            • GMTigerThursday, November 15, 2018 at 7:56 am
              VERY Cool! What gave you the option to make drones deliver packages?
              • GMTigerThursday, November 15, 2018 at 7:50 am
                VERY Cool! What gave you the option to make drones deliver packages?
                • mvTigerThursday, November 15, 2018 at 7:46 am
                  I think that it is a great idea.But I think that it should be able to know it's surroundings with a camera.
                  • ?Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 7:33 am
                    I think its cool. What if it fAILS? What if it falls? Idk but, but i love how it get there fast. No wait!!!! Yay! But still..
                    • cawtigerWednesday, November 8, 2017 at 6:41 am
                      I like the way you made that thing fly I am in 4th grade and I couldn't even make that happen

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