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It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Package! — Amazon’s Prime Air Makes its First Drone Delivery

From robotic, self-driving trucks to instant package delivery via drone technology, the future of logistics is up in the air, literally.

Amazon’s Prime Air made its first delivery to a customer’s home last week. The total time, from click to delivery, took 13 minutes, according to a tweet from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

“[Prime Air is] designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones. Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system. Putting Prime Air into service will take some time, but we will deploy when we have the regulatory support needed to realize our vision,” according to Amazon.

For now the technology is being tested on a small scale.

But the idea of a sky full of delivery drones isn’t far off. The 30-minute or less drone deliveries are being conducted on a private trial basis that consists of two customers located in the Cambridge area of England. From there Amazon plans to expand its delivery zone to dozens of people near the Prime Air fulfillment center.

How it works: Trial customers choose from a select number of items that are stored in an Amazon fulfillment center just miles from their home. The items are then placed into a delivery box and weighed to ensure it does not exceed 5lbs. Once the package is secured to the drone, the drone and the package travel outside on a conveyor belt to a launching location.

From there, the drone is 100% automated and runs itself from launch to return.

While fulfillment centers are nothing new, the Prime Air fulfillment center will be smaller than normal with more locations spread throughout the country. In the beginning, your delivery address will have to be located within a defined radius of the Prime Air fulfillment center. But as the number of Prime Air fulfillment centers grow, so will delivery locations.

Learn more about how the Prime Air delivery drone and watch actual footage from the first delivery below.