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Amazon says drones will be making deliveries in 'months'

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LAS VEGAS (AP) " Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to use self-piloted drones to deliver packages to shoppers' home in the coming months. The online shopping giant did not give exact timing or say where the drones will be making deliveries. Amazon said its new drones use computer vision and machine learning to detect and avoid people or clotheslines in backyards when landing. "From paragliders to power lines to a corgi in the backyard, the brain of the drone has safety covered," said Jeff Wilke, who oversees Amazon's retail business. Wilke said the drones are fully electric, can fly up to 15 miles (24 kilometers), deliver in 30 minutes and carry goods that weigh up to 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms), like a paperback or toothpaste.


Step Aside, Uber: Drone Taxis May Be The Next Big Thing - Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA)

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Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been talking about the commercial use of drones for quite some time now. However, in a recent interview, CEO Jeff Bezos assured artificial intelligence (AI) is the next big thing. Nonetheless, Chinese firm Ehang might disagree with this idea; in fact, the company is betting on drone taxis as the next attention-grabbing innovation in a move that could remind readers of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)'s autonomous car initiative or Zee.Aero's flying car. Back in January, Ehang, a cameras and drones maker, presented its electric passenger drone, the Ehang 184. Now, the Chinese corporation has partnered with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and the Governor's Office of Economic Development (Goed) to test the vehicle and, ultimately, get regulatory approval.


Amazon's new drones to start delivering packages in months, but no specifics on where yet

The Japan Times

LAS VEGAS - Amazon.com Inc. has new drones that in coming months will deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less, a step toward a goal that has eluded the retailer for years. The new drone takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, is more stable than prior models and can spot moving objects better than humans can, making it safe, Jeff Wilke, the chief executive of the company's consumer business, said at the company's "re:MARS" conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Wilke did not say where customers might see the drone in action, but Amazon made its first customer delivery by drone in the United Kingdom in 2016. For years, the world's largest online retailer has promised that packages would be landing on shoppers' doorsteps via these small aircraft, but hype around the service has long outpaced reality. The company has worked to ensure that hard-to-see wires would not trip up its vehicles, for instance, and it has faced tough regulations limiting commercial flights, particularly in the United States.


Air-Dropping Slurpees Is the Single Best Use of a Drone Ever

TIME - Tech

A 7-Eleven customer's order for Slurpees, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee, and candy will forever go down in history. What makes it remarkable is that the convenience store chain used a drone to deliver the order to a family in Reno, Nev., 7-Eleven said on Friday. The company partnered with drone startup Flirtey for the delivery, which the companies said was the first time a drone has legally delivered a package to a U.S. resident who placed an order from a retailer. "This delivery required special flight planning, risk analysis, and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated," Chris Walach, the director of operations for the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), said in a statement. The NIAS is a Nevada government-backed non-profit autonomous vehicle advocacy group that helped oversee the delivery.


Wal-Mart Unveils 'Store No. 8' Tech Incubator in Silicon Valley

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is creating a technology-startup incubator in Silicon Valley to identify changes that will reshape the retail experience, including virtual reality, autonomous vehicle and drone delivery and personalized shopping. The incubator will be called Store No. 8, a reference to a Wal-Mart location where the company experimented with new store layouts. Marc Lore, chief executive officer of Wal-Mart's e-commerce operations, announced the incubator Monday at the ShopTalk conference in Las Vegas. The world's biggest retailer has been overhauling its online team to better challenge Amazon.com Lore founded Jet.com, which Wal-Mart purchased in September for about $3.3 billion in pursuit of Amazon in the e-commerce race.