THE LEX COLUMN: Amazon drones could deliver nuisance
Noise and disturbance as well as privacy issues must be weighed against speed of response
Amazon’s gigantic new drone proves that the real question posed by commercial airborne delivery is not whether it can be done but whether it should.
The Prime Air drone is 1.8m wide with a large, milk-carton shaped box for packages surrounded by blades and a hexagonal ring. The majority of Amazon deliveries are light enough to be carried in the drone. Delivery times would therefore fall from days to minutes. So would delivery costs. Amazon’s growth and push to increase the speed of deliveries means shipping costs are rising. Last year, the company spent close to $28bn on shipping, up more than a quarter on the previous year. Delivery by drone is estimated to be between half and a quarter of the cost of road deliveries.