Amazon announced on Wednesday that the company wants to launch a delivery service using the drone in “the coming months,” but has not commented on the exact timing or say where the drones will be making deliveries.
Officials with the online shopping giant unveiled the latest Prime Air delivery drone design on Wednesday during Amazon’s re:MARS Conference (Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space) in Las Vegas. It released a video showcasing vertical takeoff and landing as well as sustained forward flight features of the drone.
Amazon informed that its new drones use computer vision and machine learning to detect and avoid people or clotheslines in backyards while landing. The new drone uses a combination of thermal cameras, depth cameras, and sonar to detect hazards.
“From paragliders to power lines to a corgi in the backyard, the brain of the drone has safety covered,” said Jeff Wilke, who oversees Amazon’s retail business.
Wilke further said, “The drones are fully electric, can fly up to 15 miles (24 kilometers), deliver in 30 minutes and carry goods that weigh up to 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms), like a paperback or toothpaste.”
Amazon has been working on drone delivery for years. Back in December 2013, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos told the “60 Minutes” news show that drones would be flying to customer’s homes within five years. But that deadline passed due to regulatory hurdles.
However, the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the commercial use of drones in the U.S., did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. In April, a subsidiary of search giant Google won approval from the FAA to make drone deliveries in parts of Virginia.
Wilke said that the company is working with several regulatory agencies to get required approval.
“We expect to do it within months,” he said.