A couple of years ago this would seem like an April Fools' Day joke but now the use of a fleet of unmanned drones to airlift packages directly to your door no longer seems mere fantasy. Amazon announced they're developing Prime Air, a drone-based delivery service that promises to deliver packages to customers in just half an hour! Details about how much this new delivery service will cost are unknown but it's still at least a couple of years away from commercial rollout.
Now, this vision of consumeristic bliss is still a little ways off. Amazon says it will take "some number of years" for the technology to mature and for the FAA to enact new rules and regulations governing the use of unmanned aircraft. Amazon hopes those FAA rules will come into effect "sometime in 2015," and it plans to be "ready at that time." CBS says Prime Air will be available "in as soon as 4-5 years."
Oh, and yes, Amazon will ensure that drones don't just fall out of the sky and wreak havoc on the ground. "Safety will be our top priority," says the company. "[O]ur vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and designed to commercial aviation standards." I hope so—I'd feel pretty bad if a drone carrying my new Kindle went down over a busy highway and caused a huge car pileup.