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Amazon reaches major milestone as it completes its first drone delivery

Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 16.18.55

While Amazon initially pulled off drone delivery as a viral publicity stunt back in 2013, today the company announced it successfully completed its first drone-powered shipment, with plans for more to follow in the coming months.

The e-commerce giant revealed it made its first airborne delivery last week on December 7, dropping an Amazon Fire TV and a bag of popcorn to a customer in the vicinity of Cambridge, UK. The shipment took approximately 13 minutes to complete after the order was placed.

For the time being, the service will support deliveries for small-sized items, giving priority to packages that weigh no more than five pounds and could be delivered within 30 minutes or less.

Amazon has decided to run its first trials in the UK since US regulations preclude the company from experimenting on American soil.

Unlike in the US, the e-commerce website can operate its drones beyond line of sight in the UK, making it a more fitting testing location. In addition to this, UK legislation further allows for pilots to operate more than one automated drone at a time.

While the drones are guided by GPS, customers can also place a special QR code gadget to indicate the precise landing destination.

Amazon has been toying around with airborne shipments for some time now. Back in 2015, the company teased its first aerial shipment carrier device, eventually getting the green light to run field tests in the UK several months later.

Given Google, Walmart and Domino’s are also in the race, it’ll be interesting to see which company can be the first one to take drone delivery to large scale.

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Published December 14, 2016 — 15:50 UTC

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