Amazon presents a new drone for urban deliveries in 30 minutes

How to deliver a package quickly in town? Traffic jams, red lights, limited parking spaces…: a multitude of external factors make urban delivery slower for consumers. In order to reduce product transportation time, Amazon engineers developed the MK30 drone. With an expected arrival in 2024, the aircraft will be an integral part of the Prime Air service.

Up to 2.5 kg of goods

The goal is to create fast and reliable deliveries on a regular basis. 30 min is the time it will take to receive your HDMI cable ordered on Amazon, promise of the American delivery giant. The MK30 drone will be able to fly in degraded weather conditions: in the rain, in the cold, in the heat. For several years, the company has been trying to make drone delivery a reality, but recent accidents had slowed its ambitions.

The new device presented by Amazon in early November should meet safety objectives and ensure smooth trips. Entirely electric, the aircraft will be able to transport packages with a total mass of 2.5 kg maximum. We can easily imagine the possibility of delivering books or light computer equipment in a few minutes.

Drones designed for the city

The e-merchant’s engineers developed these drones for use in the city. They will therefore be able to fly in a complex environment (power lines, buildings, panels, etc.) several hundred meters above the ground. They should also be fully integrated in mainland France, the noise caused by the propellers being minimized. “Even when descending to deliver packages, our drones are generally quieter than the range of sounds one might hear in a typical neighborhood”assures the manufacturer.

Importantly, the MK30 will be able to navigate independently, without the help of an operator on the ground. The device will be able to react on its own to an unexpected situation, says Amazon. In order to be able to fly in the skies of the United States, the drones will have to pass the certification test of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the agency in charge of civil aviation across the Atlantic. The delivery of parcels by drone could contribute to the reduction of road traffic on the ground and limit CO2 emissions. To fully succeed in its transition to the air, Amazon will still have to convince its customers of the effectiveness and safety of Prime Air. The opening of the service in the United States would be imminent, according to Amazon.

The announcement of the MK30 comes in a difficult economic context for the Seattle firm. Immersed in the Big Tech crisis, Amazon could lay off more than 10,000 employees in the coming months. The company has been facing slowing demand in a context of high inflation since the beginning of 2022. With the emergence of recent difficulties, it is likely that the launch of Prime Air will be postponed once again.

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