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Amazon Plans to Use Self-Driving Drones to Deliver Packages in Months

“From paragliders to power lines to a corgi in the backyard, the brain of the drone has safety covered,” said Jeff Wilke, who oversees Amazon's retail business

Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to use self-driving drones to deliver packages to shoppers’ home in the coming months.

The online shopping giant did not give exact timing or say where the drones will be making deliveries. Amazon said its new drones use computer vision and machine learning to detect and avoid people or laundry clotheslines in backyards when landing.

“From paragliders to power lines to a corgi in the backyard, the brain of the drone has safety covered,” said Jeff Wilke, who oversees Amazon’s retail business. Wilke said the drones are fully electric, can fly up to 15 miles and carry packages that weigh up to five pounds.

amazon drones
The new Amazon delivery drone is displayed on a screen during the Amazon Re:MARS conference on robotics and artificial intelligence in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 5, 2019. VOA

Amazon has been working on drone delivery for years. Back in December 2013, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos told the “60 Minutes” news show that drones would be flying to customer’s homes within five years. But that deadline passed due to regulatory hurdles.

ALSO READ: Scientists Use Drones to Detect Health of Migrating Whales in Australia

The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates commercial use of drones in the U.S., did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. In April, a subsidiary of search giant Google won approval from the FAA to make drone deliveries in parts of Virginia. (VOA)

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