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Why flying delivery drones are a big deal

One of the biggest news pieces of the last few weeks—at least in retail and tech circles—has been Amazon’s unmanned aerial delivery drones (also known as Amazon Air Prime). In case you missed it, here’s a video from Amazon showing them in action. 

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The goal:

“To get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Now, this won’t happen for another few years, if even that soon, but I think it’s pretty clear that this is something epic in the making. If successful, it’s going to completely rewrite, not only the retail landscape, but probably the landscape of our cities.

If you think about it, cars enabled a certain kind of retail. They enabled big box stores and those, in turn, changed our cities (for the worse, I would argue). Now what happens when the undifferentiated products of a big box store can be flown to my door step in less than 30 minutes? Suddenly getting into my car seems archaic.

There’s a great article covering Amazon’s drones and the history of American retailing in Atlantic Cities. They do a better job conveying the potential magnitude of Amazon Air Prime and so I suggest you have a read if this topic interests you.

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