Amazon has been planning to revolutionize the process of product delivery using unmanned airborne vehicles.
— Austen Allred (@AustenAllred) December 28, 2016
The e-commerce website has filed patents in the US Patent Office which reveals details regarding Amazon’s grand plan to make use of floating airships to deliver faster and more efficiently.
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Airborne Fulfillment Centers would act as just another distribution center for Amazon but floating in the sky of 45,000 feet above. According to the patents, it is guessed to hover over various cities in a pre-described altitude. Apart from helping drones to deliver goods, it would also hold a certain amount of stocks.
The patent revealed the use of two different airships, with two different sizes of airships. It is expected that the larger airship would function as warehouse and launch pad for drones. While the other airship would do the job of collecting the drones after the successful delivery.
For now, the Amazon AFC patent is just another speculative move in the company’s plan to dominate the commerce world. But as the Prime Air program expands, it’s implementation could come closer and closer to what’s required in the new ecommerce reality. A few years down the road, don’t be too surprised if you look up to a sky filled with giant steampunk-y aircraft spewing out drones, zooming off to deliver toilet paper.
The Patents also reveal that these airships will be unmanned i.e it could be autonomous but stocked by human workers or navigated by some combinations of AI and human control.