In this new promo video, Amazon VP Michael Stusser details the many ways that the Amazon Prime Air program will be used to benefit the public. Once these drones achieve pinpoint accuracy and perfect on time delivery, Amazon will be able to repurpose the drones to perform new tasks:
- Assisting the post office
- Delivering pizzas
As you probably guessed after the first 30 second, the above video is a joke. It's the work of Michael Stusser, but he isn't an Amazon VP. He's an independent filmmaker with a sense of humor.
According to The Seattle Times, the video grew out of his experiments with trying to fly a drone:
Stusser said he got the idea when he and his co-director Marty Riemer started playing with one of Riemer’s own drones. “We were experimenting and learning to fly these drones,” he said. "You realized if you practically attempt to fly a drone, you realized how nuts it is. We've crashed several times, we had to avoid power lines and avoid private property."
Stusser doesn't think that Amazon’s program will ever get FAA approval.
"Imagine the danger of one of these things dropping something in traffic," he said. "It’s just not gonna happen."
I don't know that drones will never happen, but he's not wrong about the state of the technology. Drones are fun to play with but the tech is far too crude and limited for practical deployment as a commercial delivery platform.
But I wouldn't necessarily make that argument 5 years from now.
Remember, it only took 10 years to go from the Wright brother's first flight at Kitty Hawk to scheduled commercial air travel. Autonomous robots have been under development for decades, and even aerial drones have been around for 4 or 5 years. I saw them at CES 2010, and I would not be surprised if a commercial drone delivery platform was demoed at CES 2010 - if not sooner.