Amazon picks this California town to start drone deliveries
LOS ANGELES - Amazon package delivery via drone is just another step closer to reality.
Amazon announced Monday that customers in Lockeford will become among the first to receive Prime Air deliveries.
Officials said Lockeford was chosen due to its historic links to the aviation industry, with Weldon B. Cooke, who built and flew early planes in the early 1900s, as a former resident.
"Lockeford residents will soon have access to one of the world's leading delivery innovations," said California State Assemblyman Heath Flora, whose district includes Lockeford. "It's exciting that Amazon will be listening to the feedback of the San Joaquin County community to inform the future development of this technology."
Amazon said it has been working on its technology so its drones will be able to operate at greater distances while safely avoiding other aircraft, people, pets, and other obstacles.
Customer feedback from residents will help scale up the service to other communities, Amazon said.
Amazon says its drones fly up to 50 miles per hour and can carry packages of up to 5 pounds up as high as 400 feet in the air.
MK27-2, Amazon's latest drone design, has a unique hexagonal design providing six degrees of freedom for stability. The propellers have been specifically designed to minimize high-frequency soundwaves / Amazon
Once someone places an order, the drone will fly to the customer’s backyard and then release the package before flying away.
Since Prime Air's inception, more than two dozen drone prototypes have been created.
Prime customers in Lockeford can expect drone deliveries later this year. A specific date was not yet announced.