Amazon customers in Lockeford, California, between Sacramento and Stockton, will be among the first to receive free Prime Air drone deliveries as the company tests out the new technology.
Making drove service a reality took ten years 10 years of testing, dozens of prototypes, and collaboration with the FAA. Amazon says feedback they receive from this first region of Prime Air delivery service will help the company determine how to use the service when rolling it out to other markets in the future.
The deliveries are still pending FAA approval, but Amazon says they have created a sense-and-avoid system that will allow the drones to fly without line of sight operators over longer distances.
Here's how the drone service works:
Once onboarded, customers in Lockeford will see Prime Air-eligible items on Amazon. They will place an order as they normally would and receive an estimated arrival time with a status tracker for their order. For these deliveries, the drone will fly to the designated delivery location, descend to the customer’s backyard, and hover at a safe height. It will then safely release the package and rise back up to altitude.