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Amazon - Slashdot: Plans to Roll Out Delivery Drones in Italy and the UK Next Year

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    Amazon announced today that it plans to expand its Prime Air drone delivery program to Italy and United Kingdom, as well as one more yet-to-be-named U.S. city. "The new Prime Air locations will be announced in the coming months, with an anticipated launch date of late 2024," reports The Verge. From the report: Another step by Amazon today suggests it's ready to make drones a more serious part of its actual delivery network. The company said it plans to add Prime Air delivery to its existing fulfillment network -- specifically by adding delivery drones to some of its same-delivery sites. Prime Air drones currently only operate out of the two standalone sites in Texas and California, so expanding drones to other sites means a wider delivery range and closer integration with Amazon's delivery network.

    Amazon also gave us a sneak peek of its new Prime Air delivery drone that it claims flies twice as far as its current model. Even more critically, the drones will be able to operate in light rain and what Amazon calls more "diverse weather." The company released photos of the MK30 drone today, which it said will replace its existing delivery drones by late 2024.

    The MK30 is also smaller and quieter than the existing Prime Air model, Amazon claims. The new drone can deliver objects of up to five pounds, with a typical delivery time of "one hour or less." The new drone includes a "sense and avoid" feature that can help it avoid pets, people, and property. The new design will hopefully result in smoother flights.

    "Not only will this help boost the economy, offering consumers even more choice while helping keep the environment clean with zero emission technology, but it will also build our understanding how to best use the new technology safely and securely," said UK's Aviation Minister Baroness Vere in a statement in Amazon's announcement.


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