Amazon's Jeff Bezos Reveals Ambitious Drone-Based Delivery Service

12/02/2013 at 08:35 AM EST

Amazon CEO's Jeff Bezos's omniscient reach into America's homes won't be ending with plebeian ground-based delivery, or even his purchase of The Washington Post.

Now, it looks like his company's mastery will soon extend to the airways.

Bezos unveiled an ambitious Amazon project called "Prime Air" Sunday night on 60 Minutes.

Basically an autonomous drone delivery service, Prime Air should eventually able to deliver customers their products a mere 30 minutes after they click the "buy" button, according to Bezos. (Bezos adds that the geographical distribution of Amazon's 96 enormous warehouses, or "fulfillment centers," is what will make this possible, more than the drone's speed.)

By his own "optimistic" estimate, Prime Air will be taking to the skies within four to five years. Bezos says the drones will be able to deliver items weighing up to five pounds, which he says account for 86 percent of Amazon's deliveries.

Unsurprisingly, Bezos said the biggest challenge to Amazon's R&D department is "putting in the redundancy," which amounts to "all the reliability to say this can't land on someone's head."



To that end, the company is still working on safety testing and FAA approvals, for which we're thankful – given that our need for instant shopping gratification doesn't quite outweigh our fear of having motorized delivery-bots crash down on our heads.

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