December 7, 2022

Amazon unveils new design for Prime Air’s delivery drone

We never stop innovating for our customers. Our team has worked hard to figure out how we get items to customers quickly, cost effectively, and most importantly, safely within an hour.

The promise of drone delivery has often sounded like science fiction, and we’ve been working for nearly a decade to make it a reality. We’ve built all-electric drones capable of delivering packages under 5 pounds to customers in less than an hour, from click to delivery. Earlier this year, we announced that customers who live in Lockeford, Californiaand College Station, Texaswill be among the first to receive Prime Air deliveries later this year.

Continuous innovation for customers

Just like we do with all of our innovations, including Prime, Kindle, Alexa, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Prime Video, and more, we built something awesome with Prime Air drone delivery, and then we we kept iterating on it.

We now present our next generation delivery drone: the MK30. Due to enter service in 2024, this drone will be lighter and smaller than the MK27-2, the drone that will make deliveries to Lockeford and College Station. The MK30’s increased range, extended temperature tolerance, safety-critical features and new ability to fly in light rain will allow customers to choose drone delivery more often.

Reducing the noise signature of our drones is an important engineering challenge that our team is working on. Our drones fly hundreds of meters in the air, high above people and structures. Even when descending to deliver packages, our drones are generally quieter than a range of sounds you would commonly hear in a typical neighborhood. Yet Prime Air’s Flight Science team has created new custom-designed propellers that will reduce the perceived noise of the MK30 by an additional 25%. This is a game changer and we are very excited about it.

We know that our customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is safe and reliable. Our drones can encounter unexpected new situations while making safe decisions autonomously and safely. We have created a sophisticated, industry-leading sense and avoid system that will allow our drones to operate at greater distances while safely and reliably avoiding other aircraft, people, pets and obstacles.

While it is impossible to eliminate all flight risk, we have taken a proven aerospace approach to designing safety into our system. As always, our new drone will undergo rigorous evaluation by national aerospace authorities like the Federal Aviation Administration to prove its safety and reliability.

Building the next generation of delivery

When we launched Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery program 17 years ago, it was considered groundbreaking. Getting packages to people where they wanted them, in days, was exciting and new.

Since then, we have developed new technologies and made investments in our logistics network that have helped us deliver packages to customers in two days, one day and even the same day. To sustainably deliver a vast selection of items in less than an hour, and possibly 30 minutes, at scale, drones are the most efficient path to success.

We are excited about the next chapter of the Prime Air program and expanding this service to more customers in the months and years to come.