Amazon Files Patent on Airships to Provide Support for Drones
SEATTLE, WA - Taking steps to fly this new technology under the radar, Amazon Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon.com, has surreptitiously filed for a patent to use airships to store products and serve as a base for delivery-drones.
According to news source Reuters, the company filed a patent application without fanfare roughly two years ago; the uniquely-futuristic bent of the application was only spotted this Wednesday, December 28, when Zoe Leavitt, an analyst at technology data and research firm CB Insights, noticed and publicized the company’s forward-thinking filing.
The patent filing describes drone launches from “airborne fulfillment centers” (AFCs) as far more energy efficient, and thus prospectively less costly, than launches from the ground. AFCs would hover at approximately 45,000 feet and be restocked from time to time by “shuttles or smaller airships.” The filing also notes that human passengers and workers may fly to and disembark onto AFCs, stating: “Humans that are to be transported to another AFC may be loaded.”
The filing, describing AFCs in great detail, can be found here.
We first reported on Amazon’s plans to launch door-to-door drone delivery services three years ago. Since then, other companies, including major retailers like Walmart and tech giants like Google, have launched similar initiatives to transport goods via unmanned aircraft. Could Amazon airships be hovering on the horizon in the near future? Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for updates as they occur.