Automated drone delivery: Amazon’s vision of the future


In September, the Vice President of Amazon Prime Air, Gur Kimchi, presented his company’s vision of the future of automated drone delivery systems. The vision Kimchi describes will deliver items to customers by robotic drone in 30 minutes or less. Combining robotics, drones and automated operating systems is a passion for Kimchi. He describes his years growing up in an aviation family, sitting on his father’s lap, while he flew planes and his youth when he built experimental planes, “Aviation flows in my blood, I grew up to be an engineer”.

Amazon Prime Air Drone leaving warehouse with delivery

The challenges Amazon Prime faces, are not just technical and logistical. Achieving the necessary level of safety compliance will require innovators to incorporate ICAO Safety regulations.  For the industry to grow and innovate, a common framework must be met for local and global harmonization. The vision proposed by Kimchi and Amazon prime, is one that necessitates the merger of engineering, information technology, robotics and aviation without losing sight of the human element.

“Aerospace is unique,” says Kimchi “when you board an airplane and the door closes, you are probably in the safest place you will be in your life, this is the heritage of aviation safety. This is unsurpassed in any other domain.”

The goal is to make a safe scalable and global system that continues the heritage of safety in aviation while allowing Amazon to get purchased products to clients faster and more efficiently. This means communications between infrastructures and entities will be paramount. Much like the internet or email, the framework of auditing, architecture, certifications, policy and languages (code & process) has to be agreed upon and must be dynamic to include new technologies. In addition to this, systems must be accessible to small operators and innovators.

Click on the below video to watch Mr. Gur Kimchi as he elaborates on the technical challenges of the Amazon Prime vision of delivery by UAS.