Amazon unveils new Prime Air delivery drone design

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Amazon unveiled a new delivery drone design on its website on Thursday as the company continues to advance its ambitions for the Prime Air service.

The MK30 drone is scheduled to enter service in 2024. It’s lighter and smaller than the MK27-2 that Amazon plans to use for deliveries in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, later this year.

“The MK30’s longer range, expanded temperature tolerance, safety-critical features and new ability to fly in light rain will allow customers to elect to use drone delivery more often,” Amazon said.

The MK30 will also feature custom propellers to reduce perceived noise by 25%. The latest drone design will undergo “rigorous evaluation” by authorities like the Federal Aviation Administration to prove its safety and reliability, the company said.

Amazon has spent years developing its drone delivery program to move goods quickly and cheaply. Customers in Lockeford and College Station will be among the first to receive Prime Air drone deliveries in the United States

“To sustainably deliver a wide range of items in under an hour and ultimately within 30 minutes, drones are the most effective route to success,” Amazon said.

Amazon’s continued drive to advance its drone technology comes at a challenging time for the company compared to the previous two years of skyrocketing demand. According to a Wall Street Journal report, it is considering changes to unprofitable business units, in addition to cutting additional operating costs and freezing company hires. The company also confirmed last month that it would end field testing for its delivery bot Scout.

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