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Amazon unveiled a new delivery drone design on its website Thursday as the company continues to advance its Prime Air service ambitions.
The MK30 drone is expected to enter service in 2024. It is lighter and smaller than the MK27-2, which Amazon plans to use for deliveries to Lockeford, Calif., and College Station, Texas later this year.
“The MK30’s increased range, expanded temperature tolerance, safety-critical features, and new ability to fly in light rain will allow customers to choose drone delivery more often,” according to Amazon.
The MK30 will also have custom designed propellers to reduce its perceived noise by 25%. The new drone design will undergo “rigorous evaluation” by authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration to prove its safety and reliability, the company said.
Amazon has spent years developing its drone delivery program with the goal of moving goods quickly and affordably. Lockeford and College Station customers will be among the first to receive Prime Air drone deliveries in the United States
“To sustainably deliver a wide selection of items in less than an hour, and potentially 30 minutes, at scale, drones are the most efficient path to success,” Amazon said.
Amazon’s continued push to advance its drone technology comes at a difficult time for the company compared to the previous two years of soaring demand. According to a Wall Street Journal report, it assesses changes to unprofitable business units, in addition to cutting additional operational costs and freezing corporate hiring. The company also confirmed last month that it would end field testing for its Scout delivery robot.