Amazon's Drone Delivery

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

(Scottish Government/flickr)

Brad Stone, a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek and author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (Little, Brown and Company), talks about Amazon's announcement that they want to start delivering via drones.



Brad Stone

Comments [23]

GP from Manhattan

Amazon's labor practices are draconian. See Jim Hightower's "Lowdown" articles Vol 16 numbers 8 and 9 concerning Amazon's labor practices. Hightower also writes that Amazon dodges National and European taxes: "...a major portion of Amazon's global revenue is funneled into the tiny Grand Duchy of Luxenbourg."

Oct. 14 2014 10:54 AM
dboy from Nyc


Dec. 05 2013 07:43 AM

Pass. The liability involved when one of these things falls on someone is enough to kill it for something as mundane as package delivery. And if not that, too many of the damn things will be clobbered with bats by angry consumers who got the wrong item or in recompense for some other beef with Amazon.

The world is already noisy enough.

Dec. 05 2013 01:05 AM

Just in time for Cyber Monday.


Korporate Media® washes the hand of Big Tek™.


Dec. 04 2013 05:03 PM
Tony P. from nj

Having built & flown radio control model airplanes unless there is some special technology that I am not aware of small flying vehicles are very much affected by weather (high winds, rain, snow etc.) so I cannot see how this would be so reliable in day to day use. Remember we are not just talking about a flying machine that is flying from a high altitude and sending off a rocket to a target but it will come in low to drop a package which I assume is low enough not to damage the item. Sounds like something out of Popular Science or Mechanics from the 1930's!

Dec. 04 2013 12:02 PM

What about what a horrible MONSTER Amazon™ is??

It's NAUSEATING labor practices??? It's ENORMOUS corporate profits and pitiful treatment/payment of it's employees!!

Dec. 04 2013 11:51 AM

I stopped liking Amazon long ago when I discovered how they remove bad reviews about the products they sell. As for the drones - as a mother of a son who liked to chase pigeons and also liked flying electronic devices that he and his friends loved crashing into walls and sometimes the cat, my first thought was how boys would be so tempted to figure out how to bring the drones down. I immediately came up with 10 things that you might do to crash a drone if you were a bored kid with time on your hands.

Dec. 04 2013 11:47 AM

Why do we dignify nutty ideas like this just because they come from a superstar marketer?

Dec. 04 2013 11:45 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

So how would this work, exactly? Will the robot text me when nearby, and hand me my package, or place the package at my feet?

Dec. 04 2013 11:44 AM
JT from LI

To make this work Amazon would need thousands and thousands of drones in every city across the country. To guarantee 30 minutes they would also have to be distributed throughout the city. They would also need back up drones to fly while others are recharging.

If nothing else this could be a cool project that advances technology in robotics, artificial intelligence, scheduling, routing, etc.

Dec. 04 2013 11:42 AM

Charlie played his role PERFECTLY!

Korporate® shill.

Dec. 04 2013 11:42 AM
gary from nyc

why not discuss the BBC undercover story of horrendous working conditions in the UK..
and pending investigation and possible legal action for violating minimal worker conditions??

Dec. 04 2013 11:42 AM

Really? You're doing a show on Amazon's drones?

I know that you need cute ten minute segments to fill the show. I get it.

And, wow, drones, what fun, yeah, get your iPod in ten minutes, whatever.

But this is PUBLIC radio, or at least it used to be. Can't you guys smell a PR stunt when you see one?

This is a for profit company which I know and love and buy a lot from, yes. But they are also masters of PR. Absolute masters.

And, here, Jeff Bezos decided that they would make a cute toy helicopter, take a twenty second video of it air dropping a yellow bin into suburbia, and -- poof --- they would get more media coverage over Cyber Monday than all of the trampled WalMart victims combined. And then some.

And it worked! And it is still working! Why? Because there are media shills like Brian Lehrer (gasp) who are willing to give Bezos another ten minutes of time talking about his stupid flying video.

I can't believe what has become of public radio.

Dec. 04 2013 11:38 AM
Rob from New Jersey

60 Minutes did a cheerleader piece on Jeff Bezos and his new and innovative ideas. They forgot to mention that Amazon treats their workers like garbage. There is something wrong with the priorities in our society when we are more concerned with innovative drones than the well being of ordinary people.

Dec. 04 2013 11:24 AM
JMD from Westchester

Perhaps we could get Obama to provide Bezos with a few drones in exchange for a fully functional healthcare website. Just saying....

Dec. 04 2013 11:02 AM
JMD from Westchester

Perhaps we could get Obama to provide Bezos with a few drones for a fully functional healthcare website. Just saying....

Dec. 04 2013 11:00 AM
Jerry from nyc

advertising gimmick for the shopping season, how would you protect it in the air?

Dec. 04 2013 10:59 AM
Publius from NYC

Delivery by drones makes perfect sense. We've been using drones to make deliveries to al Qaeda and the Taliban for years. They're not complaining, so they must be satisfied customers.

Dec. 04 2013 10:49 AM

Before Bezos learns to deliver packages, I hope the TV stations ditch their noisy annoying helicopters and use quite unobtrusive drones to give their news programs aerial images.

Dec. 04 2013 10:44 AM

It's a joke.

It is also funny how many people took it seriously.

Dec. 04 2013 10:42 AM
Gianni Lovato from Chatham, NY

If we try to look beyond the distorting extreme opinions and reactions on this subject (including luddites, conspiracy theorist and people always falling for the latest technological gadget), it's a little easier to see how clever a businessman Jeff Bezos really is.
We, the people, are providing him with the best market research, opinion poll and consulting service he could possibly obtain. And all completely free of charge.
You must admit: either he is a true genius or we, the people, are the most gullible bunch. Perhaps a little bit of both?
Could we be witnessing just another facet of our new techno-democracy era? And is it all that bad?
(signed: the eternal optimist)

Dec. 04 2013 10:35 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Robots are inevitable, but will prove to be good thing in the long run. Driverless cars. Robots to help the aged and disabled. And yes, flying robots that will eventually speed packages to rural and suburban homes, and somehow eventually to apartment buildings, though I don't know exactly how that will work unless boxes are put on roofs. But every major retailer will have them eventually, as will UPS, FedEx and the rest. Sure, some will be shot at, and some will be robbed, but there will be cameras aboard connected to the internet that will discourage such vandalism quick enough. The skies will be abuzz with them, once the legal challenges and technical glitches have been overcome. There will be radars, software and interconnectivity that will keep them from crashing into each other or into obstacles. It will also take some trucks and wear and tear off our roads, just as cell phones take telephone poles off our landscape. So I think it will be a good thing if properly regulated as are planes and helicopters.

Dec. 04 2013 10:08 AM
Nick from UWS

An idea so absurd that the only reason I can think of for this is that the NSA has commandeered Amazon to fly surveillance drones over the US under the guise of apparently benign Amazon deliveries. Personally I think this is highly within the realm of possibility. If the NSA can commandeer vast US domestic phone and net networks for their surveillance programs, as we have all discovered, than they can make back room deals with Amazon to fly surveillance equipment along with their delivery drones over the US as well. Anything like this is worthy of full suspicion and examination. And if this actually happens, even more so.

Dec. 04 2013 09:34 AM

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