Amazon Exploring Flying Warehouses for its Drones

Amazon is looking into using huge airships to act as flying warehouses to supply its delivery drones.

airborne-fulfillment-centersThe eCommerce giant has secured a patent for ‘airborne fulfillment centers,’ or AFCs which would supply inventory to the company’s drones. These flying centers would be located in areas where Amazon believes there will be demand for particular items.

According to the patent, which was awarded back in April but has only just come to light, some of the drones would be temperature-controlled models for perishable food delivery. The drones would then be stocked with groceries and other high demand items at the AFCs before setting out on scheduled or on-demand deliveries.

“The AFC may be an airship that remains at a high altitude (e.g., 45,000 feet) and UAVs with ordered items may be deployed from the AFC to deliver ordered items to user designated delivery locations,” the patent reads. “As the UAVs descend, they can navigate horizontally toward a user-specified delivery location using little to no power, other than to stabilize the UAV and/or guide the direction of descent. Shuttles (smaller airships) may be used to replenish the AFC with inventory, UAVs, supplies, fuel, etc. Likewise, the shuttles may be utilized to transport workers to and from the AFC.”

Sounds crazy, right? In fact, Amazon’s proposed AFCs sound like a major accident waiting to happen.

As Gizmodo pointed out: “While the idea might sound cool at first, consider this: what would happen to the people below if the flying warehouse fell from the sky? While it could reduce delivery times, the concept is still utterly ludicrous.”

What do you think? Is Amazon’s idea genius or ludicrous?


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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