Amazon.com sees delivery drones as future

The Associated Press Updated: December 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm • Published: December 2, 2013 0

NEW YORK — Amazon.com is already cracking same-day delivery. Next up: getting your package delivered quicker than a pizza? The online retailer is working on a way to get customers their goods in 30 minutes or less — by drone.

Amazon.com said it's working on the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project in its research and development labs. But the company admits it will take years to advance the needed technology and for the needed federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations to be created.

The project was first reported Sunday by CBS' "60 Minutes."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said during the primetime interview that while the octocopters look like something out of science fiction, there's no reason they can't be used as delivery vehicles.

Bezos said the drones can carry packages that weigh up to five pounds, which covers about 86 percent of the items Amazon delivers. And the current generation of drones that the company is testing has a range of about 10 miles, which Bezos noted could cover a significant portion of the population in urban areas.

While it's tough to say exactly how long it could take the project to get off the ground, Bezos told "60 Minutes" that he thinks it could happen in four or five years.

The stock rose $3.93, or about 1 percent, to $397.55 in premarket trading, having closed Black Friday's shortened market session at $393.62.

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