01 December 2013

Not so dull: Amazon's PrimeAIR UAVs [60 Minutes Video]

On Sixty Minutes (aired December 1, 2013), Jeff Bezos introduced Charlie Rose to Amazon PrimeAIR. Amazon's concept -- several years off, in part due to FAA regulation -- is to utilize low cost UAVs to deliver parcels. Morever, the idea is to move toward same-day delivery.

Why? Amazon's long term of profit is based on customer retention. Amazon wants to deliver faster, yes, but also move into new markets where delivery speed is important. As illustrated with Amazon's grocery delivery business, only recently expanded into Los Angeles, Amazon studies a problem until it thoroughly understands how to execute without losing money.

Why, again? As Bezos explained to Rose, "Companies have short lifespans. Amazon will be disrupted sooner or later. . . . I would love for it to be after I am dead."

Conclusion What Amazon can't host or stream, it may employ intelligent machines and the Internet of Things (IoT) to achieve market dominance. As with AWS, Amazon will exert a cascading effect on the rest of global commerce. UAV's, hopefully not dirty or dangerous in this case, will have an increasingly important role in future transportation systems. It will take Big Data capacity, a few firms are better positioned to use it than Amazon.

Still Image from the 60 Minutes Visit to Amazon's UAV Lab

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