back to article Amazon's new drones powered by Jeremy Clarkson's sarcasm

Amazon.com has shown off its latest delivery drone designs. This time around the drone (picture above or here for readers on mobile devices) has two means of propulsion. One is a set of propellers on its sides that lifts the craft vertically. Once the drone reaches an altitude of “almost 400 feet”, a rear-mounted propeller …

  1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    If Amazon is going to achieve 30-minute delivery for items of that ilk, it will need a lot of rather large warehouses in many, many places, just to keep stuff within 16 km of everyone.

    You forgot to enable corporate speak on your babelfish. They've no intention of being to deliver to even the majority within 30 minutes. They said

    Amazon adds that it hopes “one day … to deliver packages to customers around the world in 30 minutes or less.”

    Which roughly translates to - We're going to have depots in various locations worldwide so we can claim global reach. But to actually benefit from our 30 minute delivery time, you'll have to be one of the relative few who live close to those locations. But look, drones, cool eh?

    Drones may be relatively cheap, but running warehouses isn't and if they want to achieve 30 minutes delivery to the majority, not only will they need more warehouses, they'll need to hold more stock. All of which costs money, so they'll just tell everyone about their new delivery service and you'll find out you're not eligible when the postie arrives

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All the things

      "Drones may be relatively cheap, but running warehouses isn't and if they want to achieve 30 minutes delivery to the majority, not only will they need more warehouses, they'll need to hold more stock."

      You have that correct, but somehow you feel this is dishonest? Isn't the idea here to build a new delivery tech, have it catch on big, and expand worldwide for real, complete with mucho local infrastructure? What exactly do you think they are actually doing this for? Some kind of 'trick?'

      Show a little faith. Sure, they probably will crash and burn, but no need to go on moaning about the inevitable like some dreary greek chorus.

      Personally I'd love to be able to open my (scullery) window, reach out, and gather in the hovering goodies, recently purchased via the intertubes. Luxury!

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: All the things

        > You have that correct, but somehow you feel this is dishonest?

        It's not dishonest, as such. But taking it to an extreme, look at the tricks Verizon likes to pull in the US - FiOS runs past >90% of households in $area. Of course actually getting them to connect you is something entirely different.

        > Show a little faith. Sure, they probably will crash and burn, but no need to go on moaning about the inevitable like some dreary greek chorus.

        I was more complaining that El Reg's usually faultless lazer vision seemed to have failed to burn through that statement. Mind you it was ~4am so perhaps I missed something

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      It's amazing how frequently items available for purchase from Amazon in the US are not available for delivery to Australia. Amazon.com.au "only" delivers ebooks and they seem to take a lot less than 30 minutes and I'm happy with that. The Git likes his Kindle :-)

    3. VinceH Silver badge

      "so they'll just tell everyone about their new delivery service and you'll find out you're not eligible when the postie arrives"

      They could probably let you know at the ordering stage - possibly even on the product details page if you're browsing Amazon while logged in - since they have your address* on file, and also a record of where they have stock of any given item. Clever things these computers.

      * Obvious caveats, such as not being an Amazon customer, notwithstanding.

    4. NP-HARD
      Go

      Prime real estate

      Simple really.

      The future on Planet Amazon is: everyone moving home to within 16Km of a depot.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Prime real estate

        >The future on Planet Amazon is: everyone moving home to within 16Km of a depot...

        And working for Amazon. Except for a few holdouts who are working for Google and Facebook.

        Actually I'd expect an even more secret skunkworks project exploring the manufacturing of small items. Domestic 3D printing is pretty useless for most applications at the moment, but if there happened to be a way to standardise materials and parts and combine them with robo-assembly and/or industrial 3D printing on demand, you wouldn't need nearly as much depot space, and you wouldn't need to wait for items to arrive on a slow boat from China.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "But to actually benefit from our 30 minute delivery time, you'll have to be one of the relative few who live close to those locations."

      At the moment, yes. But the drones' range will improve over time, sub-depots will be built for bigger drones to hop between the big warehouses.

      Remember when the first mobile network launched, there were very few places you could actually use it.

    6. Jim 59

      Drone delivery? Not a chance

      Obvious, ongoing publicity stunt. The real "drones" are the poor people working in the Amazon warehouses.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    That's a big drone

    From the size of the package, eight or ten feet across?

    I'm not sure I like the idea of a sky full of those.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: That's a big drone

      Remember those grainy B&W pictures of waves of WW2 German Bombers heading for Blighty?

      Will people put up with this again?

      Is there are real need for this? Or is is just for lazy americans who can't be bovvered to walk from one end of a Mall to another so they drive their mega sized SUV/Pickup around to the other end?

      Finally what happens when two of these things collide in mid air and drops themselves and their load on a crowd of people? I really can't think that these are gonna work long term.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's a big drone

        > "Finally what happens when two of these things collide in mid air and drops themselves and their load on a crowd of people?"

        While this is unlikely given current tech, your point is still valid. If drone deliveries become the norm, the air traffic overhead will be vastly increased, if in smaller units each. Even without collisions there will be accidents, and a large flow of goods in the sky will risk a LOT of accidents. Only an extremely reliable system stands a chance of becoming accepted.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: That's a big drone

          > Even without collisions there will be accidents, and a large flow of goods in the sky will risk a LOT of accidents

          And provide the opportunity for bad people with l33t sk1llz to purloin lots of stuff in very short order..

        2. nuclearstar

          Re: That's a big drone

          I am just waiting for the criminals with "capture" drones that will go around chasing amazon drones, grab them, and bring their goods down to the criminals.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: That's a big drone

        lazy americans who can't be bovvered to walk from one end of a Mall to another so they drive their mega sized SUV/Pickup around to the other end?

        Don't watch a lot of TV, but saw a show while waiting for a procedure at the hospital. Judge Judy? Anyway, this dude had his car impounded because he'd parked and walked to various stores to make purchases. Apparently it's obligatory in the USA to drive to each store's carpark, even when they are within walking distance of one of them. Bizarre!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's a big drone

          > "Apparently it's obligatory in the USA to drive to each store's carpark, even when they are within walking distance of one of them."

          I was going to strenuously object to this unsupported slur against US culture. But I made the mistake of thinking about it, and it's very believable that a US store owner with a small lot might just complain about some jerk parking in a precious space all day to go shop elsewhere.

          1. Nixinkome

            Re: That's a big drone

            Not all parking in store lots is time unlimited - it only takes a hefty private parking fine to make you drive to the next lot next time!

          2. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: That's a big drone

            Except it wasn't a small lot, nor was it anywhere near fully occupied. The "perp" walked across the road to make a minor purchase before entering the "correct" store. Time he was "illegally" parked maybe 5 minutes. Much was made of his attempt to "deprive the car park attendant of his right to make a living".

            Interview with "perp" after Judge Judy's verdict indicated that he would no longer shop at the store he had regularly patronised for many years. It would appear that MS's hatred for its customers is not unique.

            No idea how to reference this as it was a TV broadcast; sorry!

      3. Vic

        Re: That's a big drone

        Finally what happens when two of these things collide in mid air and drops themselves and their load on a crowd of people?

        You can pretty much prevent two or more of these colliding mid-air by using ADS-B transmissions (e.g. FLARM).

        That doesn't really help thse of us not equipped with ADS-B, though. Perhaps Amazon will foot the bill for the upgrade...

        Vic.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's a big drone

        new technolgy often seems to work better and safer with a monopoly, be it in a more limited way.

        The gravity of US companies getting there first is a serious problem for making a more competitive trading world.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: That's a big drone

      Most people outside the USA will not have a suitable landing space. In addition to the usual "it is larger" vs "it is smaller" there are significant differences to suburban planning.

      Your average UK (and most of Europe for that matter) suburbia is lines of identical hoy-polloy holding boxes and a maze of fences. You simply cannot find a place to land safely anything that big anywhere in UK or Western European suburbia in the areas built before the 1930-es or after 1970-es (mansion owners excluded). In the UK only the short inter-war and early post-WW2-war period before the hoy-polloy control (sorry, Urban Planning) act has garden plots of sufficient size to accommodate a landing spot. The rest of Europe has significantly smaller suburbia to start with and it is similarly constrained by planning regs from the start ( late 60-es).

    3. Steve Evans

      Re: That's a big drone

      Listening to the wind howling outside in London ATM, I can't help imagining all these drones going backwards across the channel as a fair lick...

      Aka, this delivery method really isn't suited to real world with real weather... Just those few (very few) days where the air is calm and still, and it's not raining.

  3. graeme leggett

    new Clarkson

    Much like old Clarkson.

    I wonder how much was a scriptwriter that pastiched riffed on his greatest hits, and how much was his own contributions.

    A test of editorial independence in the new motoring show would be if they did a piece taking the yellow stuff out of online order companies delivery. Or doing it themselves - how difficult can it be.

    1. annodomini2

      Re: new Clarkson

      Probably the first episode

  4. Naughtyhorse

    Amazing: a mutually exclusive claim... with 1 clause!

    No authority in it's right mind anywhere in the world is going to permit any old tom dick or harry to fly a drone over a built up area. Not even murica! - look at the current half-assed approach of the FAA to regulate toy planes.

    This makes the 30 minute claim more than bollocks.

    Anywhere that has significant population density drones will be verboten. Anywhere that has sufficient space to operate will be mostly devoid of people and entirely devoid of amazon whorehouses (spell check? no that's what I meant)

    Methinks an amazon mid level hipsters PA fucked up and instead of the 'quarter strength, decaf, soy cappuccino with less foam, no chocolate dusting, two marshmallows on the side, six sugars and can I have it heated to eighty degrees please.' she was supposed to get, she only went and got a 'quarter strength, soy cappuccino with less foam, no chocolate dusting, two marshmallows on the side, six sugars and can I have it heated to eighty degrees please.'

    And said hipster tripped out on the caffeine and had a massive brainfart

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Dear El Reg

    Change headline, replace "sarcasm" with "hot air".

    Make it so.

  6. Insane Reindeer

    Clarkson

    Fail. Anything that has to resort to using that sorry, tired, lack lustre excuse of a human being is going to really struggle to convince me that it's not going to be a catastrophic failure of the highest magnitude. Much like Top Gear was when I stopped watching it five years ago. And no I haven't watched the video.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clarkson

      Are you talking about Clarkson or the Ginger Creep replacing him on watchable TV?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Clarkson

        As someone who does not like the ginger creep I want to know if I can deduct the cost of Amazon Prime from my TV licence.

        1. Pisartis

          Re: Clarkson

          As Top Gear was the only BBC show I ever watched; and as there is no chance of me watching anything featuring the ginger twat, I've now deducted the entire cost of the telly tax from my telly tax.

          I've unplugged the aerial and ignored the frequent nastygrams.

  7. Def Silver badge

    Homing mat?

    ...then homes in on a mat bearing Amazon's “a” glyph when it tried to land...

    So, maybe I should start leaving one of those out on the roof just in case one of my neighbours tries to order something...

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: Homing mat?

      That's just the first thing that I think is wrong with a drone delivery system. The second will be piracy.

      "Arrr, here comes an Amazon delivery! Ready the air rifle, me hearties! Arrr, the plunder be mine!"

      1. Timbo

        Re: Homing mat?

        One doesn't even need an air rifle....a simple net, or large sheet would do the job - either thrown over the drone (if it's a small one) or throw a sheet up in the air and it'll get caught up in the props or will prevent air movement around them causing the drone to fall out of the sky or become unstable enough that it crash lands...

    2. Nixinkome

      Re: Homing mat?

      You seem to like your neighbours. Do you like expensive re-roofing bills?

    3. Greg J Preece

      Re: Homing mat?

      So, maybe I should start leaving one of those out on the roof just in case one of my neighbours tries to order something...

      I was thinking exactly this. One way around it would be to put some kind of embedded radio tag in each mat, and then assign a tag code to each Prime customer when they sign up, so it will only land on your mat. Not that that would be too hard to spoof or steal.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Homing mat?

        "Scans the ground for potential hazards..."

        Like Stuart, who has learned that it's great fun hiding under a bush and leaping out on top of the flying frisbee-like thing. Even more so, he has learnt that one of these things will appear about 30 minutes after he destroys the family footwear.

  8. 9Rune5

    Whatever the question, the answer always spells out "rockets"

    The localized warehouses do not need to be big. You can have bigger drones (drone w/rockets of course! :D) that keep the localized warehouses stocked and then deploy the smaller/friendlier drones to take care of the last mile.

    Before long, they could start delivering groceries this way. I had a similar idea where the customer would access a pickup-point after using the web frontend to buy groceries, but an army of drones will easily blow that idea out of the water.

    As for collisions with drones from other companies: No problem! Just arm your drones with machine guns.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Whatever the question, the answer always spells out "rockets"

      Maybe this is the real purpose to Blue Origins... Bigger, faster drones for Amazon.

      "Hello Amazon, about those scorch marks on the front lawn and also that pile of cinders that was the neighbors house...."

  9. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Terminator

    Skynet

    Phase Two

  10. Ed@theregister

    Yeah, this whole thing is years away from being adopted into the mainstream, if it every does. Thousands of drones, carrying electrical devices and tea bags, flying over highly populated areas, all having to avoid each other, and people.

    What happens when every single supermarket and retailer decides to offer a drone service? Or the Post Office? Who has priority, and who has the ultimate responsibility when things go titsup?

    It could work as a highly specialized service (for emergency supplies for example) or for people wanting to pay a fortune for immediate delivery, but we'll see.

    1. Def Silver badge

      What happens when every single supermarket and retailer decides to offer a drone service? Or the Post Office? Who has priority, and who has the ultimate responsibility when things go titsup?

      We've managed pretty well with cars and trucks up until now. I'm sure we'll figure this out.

    2. KingStephen

      Post Office Drones

      Having just had the post delivered, and finding that it's all for a house quarter of a mile away (and no sign of any for me), I for one welcome the idea of post office drones (non-human sort that is).

    3. John Bailey

      "Yeah, this whole thing is years away from being adopted into the mainstream, if it ever does. Thousands of vans and lorries, carrying electrical devices and tea bags, driving along roads through highly populated areas, all having to avoid each other, and people.

      What happens when every single supermarket and retailer decides to offer a delivery service? Or the Post Office? Who has priority, and who has the ultimate responsibility when things go titsup?"*

      Hmm.. It's a knotty problem.

      I'm sure the first time some delivery van knocks over a pedestrian, or backs into a gate, the whole lot of them will be taken off the road though, so no need to worry.. I'll give it a week.

      "It could work as a highly specialized service (for emergency supplies for example) or for people wanting to pay a fortune for immediate delivery, but we'll see."

      Yep.. no way anything will ever replace the horse and cart.

      *Minor corrections made for comedic value.

  11. x 7 Silver badge

    Clarkson's going to need those drones once he's sent to prison for punching that Irish producer guy.......

  12. James Hughes 1

    Once again

    The lack of any sort of ambition in the thoughts of the Reg Commentards makes me wonder why they bother with a tech site.

    1. Mid air crashes. It not beyond the realms of possibility that each and every drone in the order is registered with a central system that keep them apart. You know, a bit like air traffic control already does with planes?

    2. Putting out fake Amazon pads. GPS is going to narrow the landing point down to a couple of metres, the pads is for the exact landing spot. Putting out a fake one is NOT going to result in deliveries to the wrong place.

    3. Weather issues. Yes, weather will be a problem, so don't fly in bad weather. A bit like parcel deliveries not happening during bad snow, albeit probably more frequent.

    4. Most places don't have anywhere to land. Most? Rubbish. Most places DO have somewhere to land. Not everyone lives in a flat, there are places outside the metropolis.

    5. Clarkson. Don't let your views on the presenter distract from what he is presenting.

    6. Shooting down drones. Most people don't have guns (outside the USA anyway), and if shooting one down is illegal (which it probably is already in most places), once people start getting arrested for doing it, it will pretty much stop. Cameras on the drones will be able to provide evidence on the shooter.

    Have the people of today forgotten how to think? It took me only seconds to find some sort of answer to all the 'problems' spouted above. I'm not saying they are all perfect replies, but let's be honest, there are some pretty smart people out there, and most problems get solved one way or another. God help the world if the people commenting above are representative of the state of the art.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Once again

      1. Mid-Air Crashes: all delivery drones could be registered but that doesn't mean collisions will be eliminated. Private unregistered drone flights, malfunctions, loss of communications. If this form of delivery becomes popular there could be a lot of drones in the air some collisions are inevitable.

      2. Fake Pads: I don't think fake pads are much of an issue but the world is populated by idiots and people are going to put pads down in all manner of stupid places. On top of that you are going to get people standing next to the landing pad getting hit but the drone. I know they will have instructions to stay away from the drone but people are idiot and it'll only take one getting decapitated to ground all of them.

      3 Weather: I would be surprised if the range of weather conditions the drones can't fly in made the service virtually useless. I'd guess wind would be the biggest problem as it's even though it's a large drone it's still quite small compared with the sky!

      4 Landing Spots: For this service to be viable it will need a high population density. That pretty much ensures that there aren't going to be many landing spots. Don't forget these drones are going to need to be backed up by a fairly large warehouse if they are going to have enough of a range of goods to be useful.

      I'm sure someone in Amazon has looked at the viability of this system, I suspect though they are massively over selling it for publicity and it will actually get rolled out in very few places.

    2. Def Silver badge

      Re: Once again

      2. Putting out fake Amazon pads.

      You do realise that jokes don't have to be accompanied by the joke icon, right?

    3. Graham Marsden

      @James Hughes 1 - Re: Once again

      The point (like the drones) seems to have gone over your head.

      What we have at the moment is a triumph of marketting BS over real world practicalities. Yes, all those problems *can* be solved, but, as with cars broadcasting their details all over the place or Barbies spaffing your kids information to the world, WILL they? And if so, WHEN?

      All of the issues raised are ones that need to be solved *before* such systems go live, but what we're seeing is another desperate rush to be First to Market and only then will the engineering issues start to be addressed if IoT and other such nonsense is any example to go by.

      "God help the world if the people commenting above are NOT representative of the state of the art." FTFY.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: @James Hughes 1 - Once again @Graham

        Suspect it's you who have missed the point. I really don't care whether the Amazon drone system fails or not, its' simply yet another example of luddite 'thinking' by commentators. The point is that people commenting above are claiming problems, when even the slightest thought about it can pull forth a number of possible solutions.

        It's nothing to do with marketing BS, but to do with the sad state of affairs where people commenting cannot even be bothered to think for more than a few seconds without aforesaid comment. If they have thought for a few seconds, and still not thought of at least one possible solution to an issue, then one has to worry about the state of problem solving in the general populous as a whole, not just those who read tech sites.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @James Hughes 1 - Once again

        Yes, all those problems *can* be solved, but, ..... WILL they? And if so, WHEN?

        What about WHY?

        Amazon need to stop w@nking around with drones and concentrate on the day job. They are nowhere near optimising logistics based even on meatsack-in-a-van technology. In this day and age there's no reason they can't offer me a precise delivery time hours, days or weeks ahead. Tesco can reliably achieve one hour slots when I order, why not Amazon?

        Airlifting anything other than small blocks of polystyrene uses a lot of energy, so this isn't going to be cheap. The limited lifting capacity also means low asset utilisation per drone. So we're into use cases: Low mass, high value, delivered in internet connected low population density areas. Not looking like a mass market to me.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: @James Hughes 1 - Once again

          Bird strike?

        2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: @James Hughes 1 - Once again

          " Low mass, high value, delivered in internet connected low population density areas."

          That'll be illegal pharmaceuticals, then.

        3. TRT Silver badge

          Re: @James Hughes 1 - Once again

          HMRC have placed an order for £12m in back corporation tax. When can you deliver?

      3. Vic

        Re: @James Hughes 1 - Once again

        what we're seeing is another desperate rush to be First to Market

        And they won't be - DHL has been delivering by drone for about a year now.

        Note that their flights are in a carefully-controlled corridor.

        Vic.

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Once again

      5. Clarkson. Don't let your views on the presenter distract from what he is presenting.

      So this should also apply to Stephen Fry? Just curious on where the line is drawn.

    5. Vic

      Re: Once again

      It not beyond the realms of possibility that each and every drone in the order is registered with a central system that keep them apart. You know, a bit like air traffic control already does with planes?

      You do know that much (most? probably) of our airspace is Class G (unrestricted), don't you?

      ATC only provides deconfliction for a small part of the air...

      Yes, weather will be a problem, so don't fly in bad weather. A bit like parcel deliveries not happening during bad snow, albeit probably more frequent.

      If my experience of flying model aircraft is anything to go by, that will be most days where the drone is unavailable. This time of year, many (most? probably) days are unflyable for full-sized powered aircraft; drones won't get a look-in.

      Most places DO have somewhere to land. Not everyone lives in a flat, there are places outside the metropolis.

      The majority of the population live in areas of high population density - that's pretty much by definition. And a substantial proportion of those people won't have anywhere to land a drone safely.

      Have the people of today forgotten how to think?

      Certainly looks that way...

      Vic.

  13. IHateWearingATie

    Am I the only one looking forward to this?

    Can't wait to order *very* cheap things I don't mind losing for the fun of seeing how much fun I can have with them. Ideas include:

    - Strapping the mat to a dog and watching the drone follow it about the garden finding somewhere to land

    - Putting the mat on the roof to see if the drone tries to land at 45 degrees

    - Trying to blow it off course by spraying it with a hose as it comes into land

    - Strapping rocks to it to see how much weight it can carry back to the depot.

    - Catching and graffiting it before it heads back to base.

    I'm sure other commentards have better ideas. Sounds like hours of fun to me

    1. My-Handle

      Re: Am I the only one looking forward to this?

      - Putting the mat on the top of a large car, strapping it to the roof rack when it lands and treat it to a 2 hour drive out into the country. Consider the drone handlers back at Amazon base observing the GPS, telemetry the video feed and thinking "WTF is the damn thing doing?".

      - Wrapping significant parts of it in foil and see what it does without a GPS signal

      - Sticking a smiley face sticker / sign just in front of the camera.

      - Wait with a stencil and a can of spray paint, then redecorate it with a competitor's logo

      - Add a set of portable speakers and a cheap MP3 player and have it loop "Ride of the Valkyries" as it makes the rest of the day's deliveries.

      Just off the top of my head... :)

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Am I the only one looking forward to this?

      > I'm sure other commentards have better ideas. Sounds like hours of fun to me

      Jamming half a fake finger covered in fake blood into the propeller housing?

      1. Graham Marsden
        Happy

        Re: Am I the only one looking forward to this?

        Excellent suggestions, guys, I've just *really* been laughing out loud at some of these!

        How about...

        - Sending it back with a note attached saying "Help, I'm being held prisoner in an Amazon distribution warehouse"

        - Hanging a giant rubber spider underneath it on a long length of fishing line

        - Attaching a load of helium filled party balloons to it

        - Add an MP3 Player and speaker saying "Step away from the Drone, you have ten seconds to comply!"

        - Painting "Cyberdyne Systems Series 01" on the side...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Am I the only one looking forward to this?

          - Using it to get a decent height on those little plastic paratroopers that you lob into the air.

  14. gskr

    I forsee some issues...

    Lets see one of those land on my apartment balcony (having to fly under the balcony above, and then drop vertically in a small area that the giant drone may or may not fit in (bit hard to judge from that video), whilst avoiding the furniture and plants. Then I'll believe its a viable service...

  15. Admiral Grace Hopper
    Devil

    Dropping random packages in gardens

    This could spell doom for many delivery companies whose business model seems to be based on throwing cardboard-wrapped packages over the fence into my garden. One particularly company springs to mind. I shudder when the order-confirming email give their name as the "chosen delivery partner". If Amazon can only automate the unwelcome sexual advances from the driver then they will have removed the need for them entirely.

  16. Arctic fox
    Joke

    Re:"Amazon's new drones powered by Jeremy Clarkson's sarcasm"

    I am deeply relieved to hear it. The thought of those drones being powered by his intellect is terrifying.

  17. My-Handle

    So how do you get the mat?

    So you have to have a mat (and a place to put it) in order to tell the drone where to land. I'm assuming it has some kind of wireless transmitter to broadcast where it is, rather than it just being a printed piece of A4 paper. So how do I get the mat?

    Customer: "Hi Amazon, I'm a first-time user of this service! I need xyz and I need it within 30 mins!"

    Amazon: "Sure, we'll get that sent out to your delivery point shortly. Remember to put your mat down."

    Customer: "Uh, this is the first time I've used this service. I don't have a mat."

    Amazon: "Oh, ok. We'll send one out to you first (£7.99). Delivery time is 3-5 business days"

    Customer: "Um, yeah, don't bother. I'll sign up for, and immediately cancel an Amazon Prime trial and get free next day delivery."

    As a counter-thought, if the warehouse is only a few miles away, why not just offer a pick-up service from the warehouse? I want this item urgently, I don't have anywhere for the drone to land, so I'll just drive to the warehouse and grab it myself? Wait, did I just describe a... shop?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So how do you get the mat?

      The question is what happens when the drone is made to deliver a replacement mat?

  18. nilfs2
    Thumb Up

    You can't blame them for trying

    Tesla was considered a nut job many times, think what would be of us without his inventions. Innovation comes out of crazy people's minds; if Amazon wants to spend his cash on drones, let them be, as long as they aren't hurting anyone.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazon do one hour delivery to my central London home -- no drones, just a geezer on a moped.

    It's called Amazon PrimeNow.

    They don't pack the stuff in a box. They just shove it in a large paper bag like a takeaway.

  20. captain veg

    the claim is up to “10 miles (16 km) or more”

    So which is it, up to 10 miles, or more than 10 miles? As stated, that would seem to cover everything from negative to positive infinity.

    -A.

  21. Dr_N Silver badge

    La Poste

    French one looks better:

    http://rmc.bfmtv.com/emission/quand-la-poste-experimente-la-livraison-de-colis-par-drone-918450.html

  22. David Pollard

    Obligatory xkcd

    https://xkcd.com/1523/

  23. Mike Shepherd

    Education opportunity missed

    Wouldn't it be easier/cheaper/better to tell the brat that life isn't perfect?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Education opportunity missed

      You mean Clarkson?

  24. southen bastard

    I'm Going hunting

    The air is full of drones,

    there's all these old farts dressed in traditional english hunting gear shooting at the drones,

    a dogs brings back a pair of size 4 soccer boots and the hunter throws them back , " dam wrong size"

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some say

    In the UK you'd have to reroute a footpath to make space for your Amazone deliveries.

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