Amazon Develops Drones For Package Drop-off

It's not just militarism--now drones can be used for consumption!

Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force

Could drones be at your doorstep in a few years? Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says yes.

In a 60 Minutes interview broadcast last night, the CEO of Amazon unveiled a plan to use drones to deliver packages to Americans.  Bezos said the drones, called “octocopters,” can carry up to five pounds within a 10-mile radius of Amazon sites. Bezos said the drones, guided by GPS, would be able to drop a package off within 30 minutes of an order.

But aircraft regulations would have to be changed before the plan goes into effect. The Federal Aviation Authority does not currently have detailed regulations concerning drones, though they’re working on them. Currently, only police forces and individuals not looking to make a profit can use drones in airspace. In 2012, Congress instructed the FAA to craft rules for commercial unmanned aircraft.

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Amazon says the new technology could be ready by 2015.

Drones are associated with surveillance and military airstrikes, and their use has caused controversy around the world for causing civilian casualties in Yemen and Pakistan. If Amazon uses unmanned aircraft in a few years, drones will be used for two of America’s favorite pastimes: capitalism and militarism.


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.