Amazon Asks FAA for Permission to Test Drone Delivery Program in Seattle

Comments

1
Bezos...a legend in his own mind.

Trying to cast yourself in the mold of Steve Jobs' legend only proves both to be delusional fiction.

...just because you like a toy, Jeff, doesn't mean the market will like it or pay for it. How's the Fire phone selling? What is its market? Who is its customer? Exactly.

A leader who so easily finds fault in others, but somehow misses his own faults and failures has one helluva blind spot. Of course, when you've surrounded yourself with obsequious cowards, who is going to tell you what you don't know or show you what you can't see?

Past success is not predictive of future success.

Being good at one thing is not predictive of being good at other things or everything.

Amazon is a cult of personality. That must change or it will fail.
2
I really wonder where they are going to drop stuff off at. Do they just plunk it out in front of the buildings or on the roof? Can they navigate close enough to the front door of houses?
3
Finally, a reason for me to buy a gun! 5280 will be so excited!
4
Catalina, what happened to your web site??
5
What about the noise and annoyance factor? Is there any value to our peace?
7
You want to watch that thing, you could have someone's eye out.

It's all fun and games till someone loses an eye.

(this applies to both drones flying willy nilly, and people with guns trying to stop drones poking them in the eye.)
8
Dallas dear, did they finally take it down? I'm so flattered......I didn't think anyone would notice....
9
They will be far more energy efficient than other delivers. Frankly, I'd like to see people have to go to the store way less and this could be a way of dealing with food deserts.
10
They did and I'm crushed...my good friend's mother still uses her Frigidaire stove...they were both excited to see it highlighted on the internet machine!
11
Ya' know I can see this working. Not so much as perhaps Bezos is envisioning at first, but bicycle messengers might want to be worried.

Drones dropping down on top of downtown buildings delivering packages for a secretary to run up and grab because they need the hard copy now, yeah I can see that.

Once that is in place it'll spread quickly to other goods. Nationally no, maybe, well to some extent, but radiating out from densely populated areas, oh yeah. Add a worldwide view of densely populated areas, yep that is a big messenger service.
12
"Drones dropping down on top of downtown buildings delivering packages for a secretary to run up and grab because they need the hard copy now, yeah I can see that."

Seriously?
13
@8, I noticed. Saved all the useful links (stove timer repair, hello!) and fun photos awhile back, but I checked every now and then for new stuff.

8′-(

Thanks for the memories.
14
@2 I imagine the drones taking goods to delivery trucks - or designated drop-off points - while the trucks are out and about making the door-to-door deliveries saving the truck the time and bother of returning to the warehouse.

The drones can't carry a lot.. But they can get to their destination straight as an arrow and without any ground-based hindrances.

15
@12 Yeah seriously. Call it hard copy, call it a thumb drive. Whatever, it is not hard to grasp the notion of the delivery of small but valuable objects moving above the streets as being safer then moving on the streets.
16
Do the drones need to be piloted? And if they're not what's the automated failure rate and the likelihood of injury? If they are piloted, I fail to see how this saves Amazon money.

@15,

If you think the landlords of commercial buildings will be okay with workers running up to the roof several times a day, you've obviously never had a real job in a real office. There's a reason why the door to the roof is always locked, and, for that matter, why the windows in newish buildings are always completely sealed. The owners of those buildings do not want the liability of accidents or suicides.
17
Haha, once news of this gets out, Initiative 594 is DOOMED!
18
@16 meh, top of buildings, drop off points call it what you want the safety/insurance issues are easily dealt with. It is a landing spot nothing more.
19
'Progress' = More shit, faster.
20
@15
I'd like to see the numbers i.e. how much does it cost to run a drone & operator (as opposed to a car/driver, bike/biker) and how much it will cost $$$ to deliver a package etc etc.
The amount of "hard copy" has I assume been going down tremendously for decades; most drafts are digital & it's only final which need signature.
So to start with, it's a dollar & cents biz and that's not even counting landing the bird -- I'd like to see some of the expected logistics about using drones as a delivery service in a city.
21
I know you guys are joking, but buying a gun for the purpose of shooting these things is going to bring a swift arrest. Not only will the city be fitter with sound sensors to detect and pin point gun fire before a 911 call is made, but those drones will probably have cameras and wirelessly transmit your face holding the gun, which will be used against you in a trial.

Plus theres the whole "What if you miss in a densely populated neighborhood" aspect of shooting at a drone hoovering in the air.
22
Bezos has got to be trolling us or is patently insane. I'll go with trolling to be generous.
23
Well at least this seems more sensible than Kraft's proposed Trans-Nebraska Velveeta Pipeline.
24
In all seriousness, as someone who has worked with the citizens of Our Fair City since God knows when, I wonder how this would go over. People lose their cool over street lights and utility poles in their view. What will they think of drones zipping by?
25
I really want to support this, in concept. But, as many have noted, what about safety, noise, privacy? Maybe for commercial neighborhoods the latter two aren't so important.
But in a residential neighborhood, I don't want another noise maker buzzing around when I'm trying to relax or concentrate.

I don't want something which *could* be used to spy. That may not be the initial intent, but I remember Google claiming their Google Maps vehicles don't spy and were later caught snooping on people wifis.

And technically there are some challenges. How do you navigate around low utility lines, tree branches, signs, porch roofs, etc.? Not saying these can't be surmounted but if they are too difficult, where will the package be left - on the sidewalk?
26
I bet that this whole thing is just a Jeff Bezos fun project paid for by Amazon, which gets to look progressive & "fun." In the scheme of things, the cost of a project like Amazon's drone is cheap for a multi-billion company.

While drones will have incredible uses and some even commercial delivery -- getting that copy of Piketty to a lighthouse keeper or fire tower watcher or sheep herder -- I am skeptical.

27
I can also imagine practical jokes, e.g. attach a large banner that says 'Bezos Bites' before the thing lifts off. Or maybe some rogue advertising ...
28
From the letter itself:

We also intend to use one or more of the six FAA‐selected test sites and seek a special
airworthiness certificate (experimental category) for our sUAS. However, it would be impractical
for Amazon to pursue either one of these avenues as our sole or even primary method of R&D
testing at this time, and doing so would unnecessarily tax scarce FAA resources. For example, it
would be an unreasonable burden on both the FAA and Amazon if we were required to apply for
a special airworthiness certificate for every sUAS design or testing configuration while we are in
R&D and conducting rapid prototyping.


Fuck you Amazon, if you want to play with the adults, then you have to follow the rules adults have to follow. "Oh noes, it's too hard to have airworthiness certificates for each and ever different design?" Fuck you, you should have to prove your designs are safe to use before you get to play around with them.
29
Ok, seriously, did no one read the letter?
30
Can these things be brought down by slingshots?
31
@ 28

"Fuck you, Amazon" applies to any Amazon related anything.
32
Meh. Most people won't notice these at all. They'll fly high until they're at their delivery point, then drop straight down, drop off, and straight back up. I doubt they intend to deliver them to trucks or to the tops of buildings - they're probably targeting the single family homes with enough yard space for a drop.

The main issue is safety, and that's what the FAA's there for.
33

What is the range of a quadcopter going 50 mph carrying a 5 lb load?
34
I have really good aim with my slingshot. Bring em on...
35
SPG will be delivering packages via sharks with laser beams on their heads. Teh Internets must now discuss this ludicrous proposal ad nauseum to further our marketing schemes.
36
@35 That brings up a great work-around. If you, say, bred eagles and implanted chips in their heads that could control their flight and leg movements, would the FAA even have the right to regulate you?
37
It's tempting to say "nothing more than a publicity grab", but more likely though they don't really intend on bringing this into "production", they will file a bunch of patents and troll them.
38
...And when one of these smacks into a news helicopter or sight-seeing plane, people die... What then?
39
That's what human employees are for. My prime 2-day delivery is more than fast enough.
40
Sharks with laser beams in their heads, what a novel idea? I must remember this for my next World Domination Society meeting (plus my personal recipe for Dutch fritters).

I can think of numerous ways to bring down (as in thievery and robbery) those delivery drones, and I'm sure so can many soon-to-be unemployed delivery drivers at various companies. (The method used by Tarzan in Fritz Lieber's wonderful rewrite of Tarzan and the Valley of Gold comes to mind.)

The possibilities and potential for skulduggery are endless. . .
41
@38, obviously, Amazon will use much bigger drones to deliver the coffins (at quite a markup, I suspect)!
42
Dallasmark and Rob! Fear not, it's back....... ;-) soon with 100% more Partio Cart!
43
Open season! Better than skeet shooting!
44
Always entertaining to see posts spitting, "Fuck you, Amazon," while simultaneously telling Amazon what it has to do to "play with the adults."

School's out for the summer, apparently.
45
I can imagine an entire segment of personal injury lawyers chuckling and rubbing their hands together over this. I hope some day somebody is finally able to sue the Bezos evil empire right out of business. That day might be approaching sooner rather than later with this bozo PR move.
46
The lack of knowledge about drones displayed here -- which doesn't seem to preclude people voicing unsubstantiated claims and opinions -- is breathtaking.

And this is from people who live in one of the most tech-savvy cities in the world.
47
@18,

What is in it for commercial landlords to allow for that? Is Amazon going to pay them to build fences around those "drop points"? Do you realize to what extent Seattle commercial landlords helped kill the Seattle Monorail because it would have moderately inconvenienced them? You live in a fantasy world.
48
Somebody explain to me why drones were seen over downtown Seattle YESTERDAY
49
Fun fact time! Before a supreme court ruling spurred on by air travel in the 1940's, you technically owned the entire column of sky above your property (Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad caelum et ad inferos, or "For whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell", which sounds way cool). Since then they've defended private property as being somewhere between 80 up to 500 feet above your land.

Should this program take off (sorry), they're going to have to sort this out in court or deliveries may have to follow the streets below which isn't exactly optimal.
50
this buds for you!!!!!
51
@40: Both have been already posted on the WDS website as something to discuss and (in the latter case) eat. My henchmen are much more highly motivated than yours. Might I suggest using bigger whips in your motivation meetings?

An easy and legal (in most states) way to bring them down is model rocketry. Take a few practice launches (without being fired at a drone) to get the timing down but once you got that it would be fairly easy. Model rockets tend to go up in a straight line so your aiming isn't THAT difficult. Just make sure you practice your OOPS defense for when you get caught.