Amazon Drone Delivery Comes to College Station, Texas

Amazon will begin delivering packages via drone to residents of College Station, Texas later this year. publication Friday.

After almost 10 years of expectation, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Last month, the delivery of the Prime Air drone was finally announced. Get off the ground Later this year in the town of Lockeford, California. “Hundreds of residents” are already interested in this service.

Currently, College Station’s Amazon customers are considering adding a second distribution hub, so they should expect contact from the company. Amazon said it will work with both the city and the institution named Texas A & M University to launch the service in the coming months.

“Amazon’s new facility offers a great opportunity for College Station to be at the forefront of the development of drone delivery technology,” said Mayor Carl Mooney. “We look forward to the partnership between Amazon and Texas A & M and are confident that Amazon will be a productive, conscientious and accountable participant in our community.”

The news that Amazon drones are coming to College Station First announcement.. Rockford has a population of about 3,500, but College Station is a full-fledged city with a population of well over 100,000. This gives Amazon a larger sample size for testing the drone.

read: Amazon Prime Air Drone Delivery Finally Get On track in California

read: Amazon is currently allowed to fly commercial delivery drones

Amazon’s latest model, the hexagonal MK27-2, will be used to deliver the Prime Air drone. According to Amazon, the aircraft has a top speed of 50 mph and can cruise up to 400 feet. It can carry up to 5 pounds of payload in less than an hour.

The MK27-2 will fly autonomously beyond the pilot’s line of sight, float above the customer’s residence and release the package directly into the backyard. Its ability to fly beyond visible range is a perk granted to Amazon by the Federal Aviation Administration. Authenticated Drone under airworthiness standards for February.

Amazon’s drone delivery arrived later than expected, but the company’s relationship with the FAA is better than most other drone companies. In 2020, it became the third US drone company after Alphabet’s Wing and UPS Flight Forward to. receive Part 135 Airline certificate. This will allow the fleet to operate in US airspace.Bay area based zipline 4th recipient That designation last month.

Despite the freedom given to Amazon by the FAA, the controversy has plagued company drones. In 2022 alone, it was reported that the turnover rate of the company’s drone delivery department was revealed. 70% high And that’s five things I suffered Test crashes In a span of 4 months.One of them Ignite a 25-acre wildfire In Oregon.

Amazon’s drone delivery struggle seems to be in the rear-view mirror, but Rockford may already have a problem.residents Talked to the Washington Post About their frustration with the program that many said surprised them. Some even threatened to shoot down the drone.

“I don’t want the drone to fly around my house. We live in the countryside,” said Amazon, who lives close enough to College Station to sign up for the service. Customer Greg Baroni told the post.

Watch: Where is the future of drone infrastructure heading?

Locals have also expressed concern about the safety of drones in highly cultivated areas of Texas.

“I have a lot of livestock and horses, and drones will easily scare animals,” Naydeene Koster told the newspaper. “When a horse thinks it’s in danger, it goes straight through barbed wire and, in fact, all sorts of fences. I’ve seen horses commit suicide in hot air balloons. [so] I hate seeing the damage that flying drones are coming to their area. “

Yet other residents are worried about the potential financial impact of drones. Jennifer Parker, a resident of Baroni and another College Station, said the service could rob people in the area of ​​work.

With each failure, Amazon lags behind its rivals, putting more pressure on delivery than ever before. Both Wing and UPSFlight Forward have launched vast pilots during a pandemic — Wing in the Dallas Fort Worth Metro area and flight forward North Carolina..I’m also looking for a wing expansion In Virginia.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Does not have a drone delivery arm, but is affiliated with DroneUp and has been operating two hubs in Arkansas since last year. At the end of May, retailers addition This year, six states and about 4 million people joined the drone distribution network.

Even outside those big players, the competition is fierce. A small US drone delivery startup. Flytrex, Zipline, Flirtey and others have all launched dedicated pilots for the service. And it hasn’t yet considered foreign companies working to win the American drone delivery market, such as Wingcopter, Matternet, Manna.

Amazon did not immediately respond to Modern Shipper’s request for comment.

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