Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) showed off its latest drone prototype to coincide with Cyber Monday and highlight the retailer's dominance in online retail and delivery efficiency.
This new prototype combines elements of a helicopter and an airplane, according to MarketWatch. There's even a rear-facing propeller. The device has a 15-mile flight radius and can reach an altitude of nearly 400 feet.
Prior models stored, or held, packages below. This unit locates them in the fuselage instead. It uses sense-and-avoid technology to identify obstacles, sends delivery notifications, and then scans for a clear landing area. The drone must land to dispatch the package.
Amazon dominated the Cyber Monday news cycle in 2013 when it announced the testing of package delivery using drones on CBS' "60 Minutes." The initiative was in its early stages, but in the years since, drones have emerged as a leading solution to retailers' demanding delivery needs.
Still, there's much to be worked out, including how the devices will interact with the elements and birds and whether they will ever be deployed outside suburban or rural areas. Lobbying efforts are underway to approve drone use for commercial purposes, and both Walmart and Google are also testing drones.
-See this MarketWatch story
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