Amazon Prime Air on verge of shuttering UK drone delivery operations
August 7, 2021: Prime Air, a future delivery system from Amazon, US-based online retail behemoth, designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using autonomous aerial vehicles or drones, is on the verge of shuttering its UK drone delivery operations following massive layoffs and transfers.
August 7, 2021: Prime Air, a future delivery system from Amazon, the US-based online retail behemoth, designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using autonomous aerial vehicles or drones, is on the verge of shuttering its UK drone delivery operations following massive layoffs and transfers.
"Amazon is yet to confirm or deny the developments even as well over 100 employees at Prime Air have lost their jobs and dozens of other roles are moving to other projects abroad," Wired reported.
We have contacted Amazon Prime Air and are yet to hear from their team. The story will be updated as and when we hear from them.
While Amazon tested the delivery model in June 2019, it got the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval in August 2020 to operate its fleet of Prime Air delivery drones.
Besides Amazon, Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet and UPS are also received the FAA clearance to operate its fleet of drones for package deliveries. They, however, have to clear other regulatory approvals before starting operations. Air delivery by drones is being seen as a big opportunity by e-commerce giants as well as big tech.
The second concept of drone-based delivery is one fitted on trucks: a delivery truck fitted with a drone drives to the city, delivery personnel loads orders to be fulfilled on drones, moves on to the next stop and by that time, the drone is either there or delivery personnel is back to dock the drone.
In fact, UPS tested this concept with an actual delivery using HorseFly UAV Delivery system of drone manufacturer Workhorse.
Workhorse has not been able to take it ahead commercially due to technical worries and other complaints. Hybrid electric delivery trucks with drones are likely to reduce delivery costs by over 30 percent, according to estimates.
The drone package delivery market is projected to grow from $528 million in 2020 to $39,013 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 53.8 percent from 2020 to 2030, according to MarketsandMarkets.
Now comes the news Amazon may be pulling out of the business. Interesting, right?
Watch the June 2019 Amazon drone delivery testing