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Amazon Unveils Teaser Ad For Its Prime Air Drone Delivery Service

With a new video ad, Amazon inches closer to making its 30-minute drone delivery system a reality.

Amazon Unveils Teaser Ad For Its Prime Air Drone Delivery Service
[Photo: via Amazon]

When Amazon first made its drone delivery aspirations public, people balked at the idea–much like they did when the company announced the Jetsons-inspired Dash button earlier this year. Dubbed Amazon Prime Air, the drone delivery program promised to deliver small packages by drone to customers in under 30 minutes, though CEO Jeff Bezos warned that it would take “four or five years” to fine-tune the technology.

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Two years later, Amazon has released a video teasing the service that shows off a flashy new drone prototype:

Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson narrates the video, which features a family using Prime Air to replace a chewed-up pair of Puma cleats in time for the daughter’s soccer match. The drone highlighted in the video is far bigger than its previous iteration. The prototype takes off and lands vertically, like a helicopter, but flies more like an airplane, with a rear-mounted propeller. Amazon claims the drone has a range of 15 miles and can fly at more than 55 miles per hour.

“This design enables it to fly long distances efficiently and go straight up and down in a safe, agile way. It is one of many prototype vehicles we have developed,” an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch. “One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.”

The family in the Prime Air video also appears to be from the U.K.–and Clarkson himself is British. The drone prototypes are being developed and tested in the U.S., U.K., and Israel. As Amazon continues to face strict FAA regulations in the U.S., it may find that it has better luck launching the program abroad: In September, U.K. Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said that Amazon had reached out about conducting trial runs of its drone delivery service in the U.K., due to “frustrations with regulations in the U.S.,” according to The Independent.

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About the author

Pavithra Mohan is an assistant editor for Fast Company Digital. Her writing has previously been featured in Gizmodo and Popular Science magazine.

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