Amazon to launch drone deliveries in California

Amazon has announced plans to launch ‘Prime Air’ drone deliveries in California later this year.

The e-commerce giant said that with its new technology, drones could one day be as common as delivery vans.

The company claims that its technology is different to most drones because they are able to recognise and dodge other aircraft and obstacles.

Amazon has developed what it describes as a “sense-and-avoid” system which means that drones can operate without visual observers and at greater distances.

The business said that special algorithms enable drones to identify static objects like chimneys as well as moving objects. If the drone spots an obstacle, it will automatically change course.

Amazon explained that as the delivery is made into a customer’s garden, the drone will identify a small area around the location that is clear of people, animals, or other obstacles.

Residents of Lockeford, California will be able to sign up for free drone delivery on thousands of everyday items later in 2022.

Amazon is asking for feedback on the deliveries, which it said will help it safely scale the service.

"Lockeford residents will soon have access to one of the world's leading delivery innovations,” said California state assemblyman Heath Flora. "It's exciting that Amazon will be listening to the feedback of the San Joaquin County community to inform the future development of this technology."

Amazon said it is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local officials in Lockeford to obtain permission to conduct the deliveries.

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