Are You Ready to Take Flight with Prime Air?

One of the segments on ‘60 Minutes’ last Sunday night was an interview with Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.  The interview was pretty standard fare, until Bezos made an announcement to Charlie Rose that he had a new initiative to reveal.  The new initiative is to

amazon-prime-airdeliver certain packages to Amazon customers with drones — possibly reducing product shipping time to as little as 30 minutes.

For example, go ahead and click the BUY button for the new Kindle, then make a cup of tea for yourself and when you are done drinking your tea, go out your front door and pick up your new Kindle that was delivered to you by a drone sometime over the last thirty minutes. This scenario is an extremely disruptive concept to standard-fare delivery.

What type of product?  The product(s) would have to be 5 lbs or less which currently represents 80%+ of Amazon’s deliveries.  The customer’s delivery address would need to be within a 10 mile radius of an Amazon distribution center.

A drone?  The delivery system Bezos described in his interview was an octocopter which uses a lithium polymer battery.  One of the big benefits, in addition to expediency, is the green solution provided by the drones, therefore reducing the need for fossil-fuel burning delivery trucks.

The props on the octocopter are fixed-pitch and the motors are attached rigidly to the structure so control is provided by software which throttles the engines to move the aircraft. The feedback loop has to be very sophisticated to insure that the flight plan is achieved.

Projected implementation?  Not before 2015 or a date after the FAA delivers their requirements for unmanned aerial vehicles.

Considerations?  Safety is the primary driver.  How do you build enough redundancy to insure the drone gets to the proper coordinates and returns to the distribution center.  How about exogenous variables such as weather, software glitches, hardware malfunctions, customer delivery receptacles and crowded airspace?  I am sure that most of these issues are addressable.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon don’t get into a business without having a thoughtful plan to move Amazon into a position of market leader.  Bezos realizes that the next great company is always “just around the corner” and without consumer trust and product innovation, Amazon can be replaced.  Clearly, the concept of Prime Air meets the innovation requirement but there will be much competition in this space as the primary delivery companies (ie, UPS, FedEx) are not going stand by idly and let Amazon gut their business.

from Douglas MacFaddin’s Tech Market Page http://dougmacfaddin.org/29/

Advertisements

Published by: Doug MacFaddin

Douglas Willis MacFaddin was born June 16, 1961 in the Miamisburg Hospital to Patricia Ann MacFaddin and Richard Willis MacFaddin. My mother’s maiden name is Morrison and she is the youngest of seven children who were raised in Lycippus, PA. My father was the second of four children and was a twin. He was raised in the town of Viola, DE. At the time of my birth, my father worked at the Mound Laboratories in Miamisburg, Ohio in research. Mound was an Atomic Energy Commission facility for nuclear weapon research during the Cold War. My mother made a home for our family. My father passed away in 1991 and my mother is currently living in Avon, CT. Doug MacFaddin is the oldest of five children (Doug, R. Stuart, Anne Marie, Megan and Mary (Heather)). I lived in Ohio for two years, spent the next seven years in Murrysville, PA (outside of Pittsburgh), moved to Little Silver, NJ and relocated my senior year in high school to Avon, CT. My four siblings currently live with their families in Avon, CT and are members of St. Ann’s Church. I attended Mother of Sorrows School in Murrysville, PA. In NJ, I attended Little Silver Point Road School, Markham Place School and Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in Lincroft, NJ for three years. My senior year, I attended Avon High School and I then spent the next four years at Union College, Schenectady, NY. I received a BS in Industrial Economics and graduated in June 1983. While at Salomon Brothers, I was asked to attend a two-week seminar for Public Finance at the University of Michigan in 1986. In Little Silver, I was involved in Troop 126 where I achieved the rank of Life Scout and was both a Patrol Leader and a Senior Patrol Leader. I also was an alter boy at St. James Catholic Church and spent summers a the Ship Ahoy Beach Club in Seabright, NJ and caddying at the Rumson Country Club. At Christian Brothers Academy, I wrestled for the varsity squad for three years. I took second in the districts my junior year and went on to the regionals. I also ran on their cross country team freshman year and was part of the CBA Colt team that hasn’t lost a duel meet since 1973. My senior year at Avon, I won the wrestling States (S). I went on to wrestle at Union College and qualified for the Div III nationals twice (1981, 1982) and was co-captain both years. My senior year at Avon, CT, I also won the States (S) in pole vaulting. It was the first time Avon High School had a state champ in two sports in the same year. During my four years, I earned nine varsity letters between wrestling, track and football. In 1979, I was accepted into The National Honor & Merit Scholars Society. Upon graduating from Union College, I accepted a position at Salomon Brothers Inc in August 1983. I was an analyst in their Public Finance department at One New York Plaza. I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn and spent the next four years working at Salomon Brothers. As a result of Black Monday, October 19, 1987 the Public Finance Department of Salomon Brothers was jettisoned to conserve capital. By November 1, 1987, I was working at Dean Witter Reynolds in the new Public Finance Department made up of many of my former Salomon Brother’s colleagues. The new Department was located on the 57th floor of 2 World Trade Center.

Categories UncategorizedTagsLeave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s