The use of technology in the commercial world has allowed for significant advances to be made. Just a sample of the way technology can be integrated into daily life includes Tesla’s self-driving vehicles, Uber’s flying cars concept, and now, Amazon’s drone delivery project. The project took a significant step forward as the Seattle-based company submitted its patents to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). With the patent submitted in the final days of May, Amazon is able to demonstrate to the public how their flying drones are intended to fly.
While it seems that the patent submission appears as a regular process, it may actually hold larger implications for delivery and transportation projects based on flight - such as the use of flying cars. What are some of the features of Amazon’s drone delivery concept? Will it affect the delivery traffic of postal delivery services such as USPS and UPS?
What is the Patent Like?
Although people probably expected the patent to be solely based on drones, what is interesting is that the patent focuses on the shipping label. The shipping label will be designed in a way that it turns into a parachute, landing the package to its location in a secure way. The parachute can be made out of a number of different materials, including nylon and paper.
Essentially, the way the drone delivery would be as follows:
- A drone would be launched from Amazon carrying a package
- The drone arrives at the destination
- Using an array of location-based sensors, the drone confirms the destination’s location
- The drone then proceeds to dropping the package off
- The shipping label turns into a parachute, allowing the package to arrive safely
Sounds simple, right? Here are some things to consider.
The drone delivery plan seems easy enough, but there are several factors to keep note of.
For example, can a drone proceed to its delivery location with adverse weather conditions? If the package gets wet and its components get damaged, will Amazon cover the cost of the item?
What happens if a drone delivers to an incorrect location? Will Amazon be notified that the package was delivered to a wrong location, and if so, how?
In the event where a drone drop-off a package, but the package lands on a roof, tree, or the road (and is run over), will the Amazon’s customer be able to get a second delivery, free of charge?
The factors mentioned above should be taken into consideration and addressed before the drone project has been completed and is implemented. This would save time and money for both the customer and Amazon from dealing with damaged products, inaccurate deliveries, and so on.
A Prelude to Flying Cars?
Amazon’s drone delivery project could eventually be used, if successful, as a blueprint for the implementation of flying car projects for the future. Taking into consideration the fact that the flying car industry is up and coming, a benefit of this is that there are many companies that are also new to the concept.
As discussed in other posts, there are several technology and transportation companies that are facing similar projects to use the skies as pathways to transportation, both of people and of commercial goods. As technology advances further into the daily scope, there is the possibility of future products to be integrated with the accessibility and ease of technology. Technology will continue playing a recurring role in the development of future technologies, and the use thereof will be further integrated into daily life.