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Amazon to Offer Drone Deliveries in UK and Italy in 2023


Amazon has outlined significant plans for its drone delivery program, with intentions to expand internationally to the UK and Italy by 2024. Additionally, the company aims to initiate drone operations in a third US city next year, building upon existing efforts in College Station, Texas (where prescription medication delivery by drone recently commenced) and Lockeford, California.

The launch of drone deliveries in the UK and Italy will commence at single locations, with plans to expand to more sites over time. Amazon intends to disclose the specific locations for the expansion in the US, UK, and Italy in the coming months.

Furthermore, Amazon will integrate its Prime Air program into its broader delivery network. In the US, drones will operate from selected Same-Day Delivery sites, allowing customers to choose from a wider range of items for drone deliveries. In the UK and Italy, Amazon will leverage its larger fulfillment centers in addition to delivery locations. So far, Amazon has relied on dedicated delivery centers at its initial two Prime Air locations.

Once the service becomes available in their region, Amazon customers can opt for drone delivery when purchasing eligible items weighing less than five pounds. Thousands of items qualify for drone delivery, encompassing office and tech supplies, household goods, and beauty products. The company emphasizes that, for nearly a year, it has been using drones to deliver items to customers in its first two Prime Air locations within an hour or less.

Earlier reports this year suggested that Prime Air had a slow start, initially serving only a few homes in its early weeks of operation in Texas and California. Regulatory hurdles were a major factor contributing to the program’s gradual launch. Amazon notes that it has been actively collaborating with regulators and governments worldwide to expand drone delivery.

Additionally, Amazon plans to introduce deliveries using the MK30 drone, which was initially showcased last November. The MK30 boasts a range twice as large as its predecessors and exhibits improved tolerance for a wider range of temperatures. It can even operate in light rain. The MK30 is smaller, lighter, and quieter than earlier drones. Notably, it can identify and navigate obstacles in its delivery area, adapting to new structures like moveable cranes. A unique feature of the MK30 is its flight pattern – it takes off vertically and then transitions into horizontal, wing-borne flight. These attributes enable Amazon to provide package delivery services to residents in densely populated suburban areas with smaller backyards.

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