Last night on 60 Minutes I watched Jeff Bezos, the creator or Amazon, “unveil” their new concept for drone delivery. Yes you heard right, DRONE DELIVERY. He says it could be ready for prime time in a few years. Are you kidding me? Hey 60 Minutes, maybe look into the concepts you are allowing your darling execs to pitch on your airtime? After Lara Logan’s disastrous Benghazi report you think they would be watching this crap a little more closely. Delivering individual sub-6lb packages via quad rotor remote control helicopters is so stupid at this point in time that it’s just funny. I am not going to get into all the ways this idea is not feasible in the near, or even foreseeable future. It would be a waste of your time to read like this was for me to watch.

It is fine if this is a project that is just super blue sky, “let’s blow some money and see where this goes” type of bleeding edge development thing, or even for use in a limited scale within their campuses like the Google self driving car, but to pith this as the next great thing to come is just silly and a little sad to be honest with you. What it sounds like is marketing meeting run amok: “hey what is super cool and cutting edge right now that we can appear to be at the forefront of?” “Um drones are a pretty big deal in the “nerdosphere” right now sir.” “Ok, let’s do that!”

If you expect to get a pair of headphones you ordered from Amazon via a quad rotor toy anytime soon then I also have some great ocean front property to sell you Afghanistan and a nice flying car to go with it!

The uniformed in the world of unmanned aircraft would say I am hater for swatting down Bezos’s drone dream, but I think this site has a pretty far and firm view of where this technology is going, some would even wrongly deem it optimistic. One thing is for certain, drones are definitely in fashion now with the publics consciousness, and they are ripe for “whiz-bang” marketing ploys to a still highly uniformed public.

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  1. Ian Hall says:

    Its bad enough being smashed into by an Amazon van -the thought of these little blighters flying around and falling to ground will have any respectable casualty underwriter having a nervous breakdown.

    • esmoore5 says:

      Not surprisingly, the criminal underworld got there first:

      Worldwide, Drones Are Being Used to Sneak Contraband Into Prisons:

      “Turns out Amazon founder Jeff Bezos wasn’t the first one to think about using drones to deliver fun stuff directly to your
      door. Convicts have been doing it for years.”

      “As toy helicopters become cheaper and steadier, prisons are
      trying to cope with the growing security problem.”


  2. aerodawg says:

    I have a sneaking suspicion this was a massive troll job by Bezos. He’s getting into the media business and might just be trying to show how ignorant the legacy media is on most subjects…

  3. CatoTheShorter says:

    You’re being rather short-sighted IMO. Driverless vehicles are coming and so too the truck driver will disappear… Delivery by drone will eventually happen, if big business thinks it will help them.

    Google has purchased several robotics companies over the past few years – why do you think that is?

    Just because it can’t be done TODAY, doesn’t mean it can’t be done in the future. More and more jobs will be automated away… only a matter of time…

  4. says:

    I really should have written more. First off, that hobby drone needs to be FAA certified! Currently sense and avoid (using TCAS and IR sensors distributed around the aircraft) is not flying operationally on a large drone yet alone a toy. Then, look at a neighborhood, power lines, trees, overhangs, etc etc etc. It is not as simple as dropping a box (a pelican case for petes sake) at a GPS point. These things will have to sense and avoid and creatively problem solve autonomously! Then you have weather, these hobby drones are not meant to fly in pouring rain and wind, so the whole idea would have to be weather based under current technology. Then you have insuring these things, not just when one drops on a car windshield while it is traveling at 70mph, but when a package is stolen along with the info of who bought it. So there are privacy concerns. Then there is just robbing the things by shooting them down, jamming their GPS/COMM receivers, or dazzling whatever E/O sensors are used for delicate navigation (something not even onboard at this time). In fact it is totally ridiculous showing a RC quadcopter drop a box on a door and say in two years this will be happening within 10 miles (not even close to battery life currently on-hand) of our fulfillment centers in mass. Now if Bezos came out and said this was a blue sky type of R&D venture, that one day we think will be commonplace etc etc than fine, but to act like this is a proprietary technology that could be in widespread use between 2 and 5 years, its ridiculous and purely a marketing scheme or being highly oversold to the public as a near term, plausible venture.

  5. Mike Brewer says:

    I dont necessarily agree with you on a lot of things but this story is spot on. Journalism is a sad shadow of its former self

  6. Mike says:

    Driverless vehicles might not be 100% safe, BUT still can’t be worse then with human drivers. Looks at the 2 recent passenger train crashes. The one in NYC and the one in Spain. Both times the human driver was distracted!
    The driver in Spain was posting pictures of himself on facebook at the time of the crash!!! =O

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