Amazon said Monday it will begin to deliver products using Prime Air drones in Lockeford, California, later this year. It’s the first time the company plans to use drones for customer deliveries in the United States.
The company received approval in 2020 from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones, and other firms, like Alphabet and Walmart, have already started to make similar flying deliveries. Walmart’s drone delivery program is available to more than 4 million households in the U.S., for example. And Alphabet’s Wing program has been delivering food and other products in Australia.
Amazon said it plans to deliver products by drone into the backyards of residents in Lockeford, California — which is about 40 miles south of Sacramento — and will use feedback from the service to improve its system. Amazon said the drone technology can detect and fly around obstacles like chimneys.
“It can also detect moving objects on the horizon, like other aircraft, even when it’s hard for people to see them,” Amazon said. “If obstacles are identified, our drone will automatically change course to safely avoid them.” The drone also makes sure there aren’t people, animals or other obstacles at the delivery site, the company said.