Amazon has begun delivering packages by drone in Texas and California.
Amazon announced in July that Lockeford in California and College Station in Texas would be among the first cities to receive Amazon Prime drone deliveries in the United States.
The Amazon fleet is comprised of fully electric drones that can deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than an hour. The new service adheres to regulations set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Packages will be delivered to locations within 3.73 miles of the distribution center. Drone operations are only allowed during daylight hours, five days per week. Humans monitor the drone deliveries.
The operating area for deliveries is divided into four sectors, with each sector having a maximum of approximately 50 delivery flights per day, with only one aircraft in each sector being airborne at any given time.
Other entities, such as Walmart and Walgreens, had already opened drone delivery services in North Texas, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
“We are impressed with so many aspects of College Station,” said officials in the release.
“The innovative research conducted by Texas A&M University, the small-town feel, and the sense of community that is clear from the minute you arrive in town all make it a very special place.”
These drones — MK27-2 units — feature a hexagonal shape with six propellers to improve stability and minimize high-frequency sound waves.
“Amazon’s new facility presents a tremendous opportunity for College Station to be at the forefront of the development of drone delivery technology,” said College Station Mayor Karl Mooney, according to a press release.
“We look forward to partnering with Amazon and Texas A&M and are confident that Amazon will be a productive, conscientious, and accountable participant in our community,” he continued.
Amazon is developing a new generation of delivery drones known as the MK30, which will be lighter and smaller than the MK27-2 units.
The MK30s will also feature increased range, expanded temperature tolerance, safety-critical features, and the ability to fly in light rain. Amazon’s Air Flight Science team incorporated new propellers designed to reduce the drone’s noise by 25%.
These units will come into service in 2024.