Only 100 deliveries achieved! Is Amazon’s drone delivery service about to cool off?

Amazon's drone delivery service may be cooling off with only 100 deliveries achieved

BusinessDialogue has learned from foreign media that Prime Air, the unmanned drone operated by Amazon, has only completed 100 deliveries in the two regions of California and Texas in the United States.

The Prime Air drone delivery service plan was proposed by Amazon’s founder and former CEO, Bezos, in 2013. Now, 10 years later, this business has still not made significant progress.

In January, the e-commerce giant had expected to use drones to complete 100,000 deliveries before 2023. However, shortly thereafter, as part of a global downsizing, a large number of Prime Air employees were laid off by Amazon. In addition, a report in February stated that Amazon drones had only served less than 10 households.

Due to slow progress, Amazon has lowered its delivery target, explaining that it faces regulatory obstacles set by the Federal Aviation Administration.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Although the Federal Aviation Administration has expanded Prime Air’s delivery capabilities, allowing it to operate in California and Texas, the phased process of expanding the service area has taken much longer than we expected.”

The report also suggests that Amazon may have exaggerated the popularity of its drone delivery service. In Lockeford, California, only 14 users registered for the service, but Amazon claimed that tens of thousands of users wanted to deliver packages through drones.

Amazon has been working hard to improve its drones to meet FAA standards. In 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Amazon a full license to operate its drone business. However, in recent years, news of Amazon drone crashes has been frequent. In March of last year, foreign media reported that Amazon drones had crashed at least 8 times in the past 13 months. At least one of these crashes caused a fire, which burned down a field in Oregon.

As Amazon’s drone business is facing difficulties, Walmart announced that it has completed over 6,000 deliveries in seven southern and southwestern states in the United States through its partners DroneUp, Flytrex, and Zipline.

BusinessDialogue has learned that more and more retailers in the United States, including Sweetgreen and GNC, have announced plans to use new drones for deliveries before 2024.

Translated by Nicole/AMZ123

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