Amazon seeks approval to test drone deliveries in 30 minutes or less

Above: Amazon's Prime Air "octocopter" drone

Image Credit: Amazon

Amazon today revealed new details on the state of its drone delivery project in a petition filed with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The petition, submitted on July 9 but only made public today, details Amazon’s end-goal of making “Prime Air available to customers worldwide as soon as [it is] permitted to do so” by regulators. In the short-term, Amazon simply seeks permission to conduct “private research and development operations outdoors near Seattle.”

As in Prime Air’s 60 Minutes debut, Amazon describes the service as “a new delivery system that will get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using aerial vehicles.” When Amazon first announced the project, conveniently as the holiday shopping season started heating up, many regarded it as a publicity stunt, as Reuters notes.

However, Amazon’s petition reveals how far the project has come since last December. “We are rapidly experimenting and iterating on Prime Air inside our next generation research and development lab in Seattle,” Amazon’s vice president of public policy Paul Misener writes in the petition. Misener claims that over the past five months Amazon has “made advancements toward the development of highly automated aerial vehicles for Prime Air” in the following ways:

Testing a range of capabilities for our eighth- and ninth-generation aerial vehicles, including agility, flight duration, redundancy, and sense-and-avoid sensors and algorithms; developing aerial vehicles that travel over 50 miles per hour, and will carry 5-pound payloads, which cover 86% of products sold on Amazon; and attracting a growing team of world-renowned roboticists, scientists, aeronautical engineers, remote sensing experts, and a former NASA astronaut.

Amazon has clearly thrown capital and time into this initiative, but the company is likely a long way from technical completion and legislative approval — particularly if existing laws continue to hinder Amazon’s research and development projects (and they already have, as the petition indicates).

You can view Amazon’s petition, in full, below:

More information:, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection., Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where cu... read more »

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Sun Kim
Sun Kim

This reminds me of Dominoes and their 30 minutes or less campaign. They stopped that after a few drivers got into accidents because of the 30 minute guarantee.

I can also see Amazon Fresh drivers going to a central area and deploying all the Amazon packages to their delivery points and wait for the drones to return.

John Bhakdi
John Bhakdi

Someone hired a lawyer for this lol. Well done Amazon. 

Onur Gunduru
Onur Gunduru

they'll shoot the drone down just for fun

Irshu EK
Irshu EK

someone's about to lose his job...