Amazon to start free drone deliveries to sleepy California town of just over 3,500 | Scientific and technical news

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Amazon announces that its free drone delivery service will launch in the sleepy California town of Lockeford, answering a long-standing question about where the Prime Air service would first roll out.

The company’s long-promised deliveries via drones, which it previously announced would start “in a few months” in 2019have yet to progress beyond trials despite years of costly investment.

from Amazon first drone delivery took place in Cambridge in the UK in December 2016, in a trial for which the company had special permission, but an ongoing Prime Air delivery service has yet to start.

The drones themselves can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds (2.2 kg) in less than 30 minutes – but only during daylight and clear weather.

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The company went through more than two dozen prototype designs for its Prime Air drones, before settling on a hexagonal model with specially designed silent propellers.

Lockeford has a population of just over 3,500 people and is about 40 miles south of California state capital Sacramento.

Announcing the lawsuit, Amazon said the community had historical ties to the aviation industry, with flight pioneer Weldon Cooke as a former resident.

“We are working with the Federal Aviation Administration and local Lockeford officials to obtain approval to make these deliveries and will continue this collaboration in the future,” the company said.

Customers who are eligible to participate in the trial will see items on Amazon listed as eligible for Prime Air.

Drone will fly to destination, hover, then fall

“They will place an order as they normally would and receive an estimated time of arrival with tracking of their order status,” the company said.

“For these deliveries, the drone will fly to the designated delivery location, descend into the customer’s yard, and hover at a safe height. It will then safely release the package and ascend to altitude,” Amazon added.

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