Amazon.com has long talked about its ambitions for using drones to deliver small parcels to its legions of customers. Now, it appears the e-commerce giant is one step closer to that goal.
On Wednesday, the company said that it has made its first autonomous drone delivery – an order for an Amazon Fire TV streaming device and a bag of popcorn – to a shopper in the United Kingdom.
Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, tweeted Wednesday morning that the box was at the customer’s home 13 minutes after the order was placed.
This single delivery hardly means we’ll soon be seeing a flurry of Amazon drones descending on our neighborhoods. Amazon considers the program to be in “beta test” mode; in fact, only two customers are part of its Prime Air trial so far. In a video, the company said it plans to soon expand the offering to dozens and then hundreds of customers, all in England’s Cambridge area.
Its not surprising that Amazon’s first Prime Air drop-off took place in the United Kingdom. The company announced last summer that it had received permission from the U.K. government to conduct tests for drone delivery. There were also signs that suggested this region was a site for experimentation, including job postings for positions at an Amazon facility in the area.