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Amazon Prime’s first drone delivery has landed in Cambridge

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Chris Sayer
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Amazon’s drone delivery service, Prime Air, has taken off – and safely landed – for the first time.

Taking on Twitter yesterday, CEO of the internet shopping overlords Jeff Bezos revealed that the postman-shirking process, which saw an Amazon Fire TV box and a bag of popcorn take to the sky, took just thirteen minutes from that final click to its customer receiving their goods, which is pretty, pretty impressive:

And where did this ground-breaking advancement take place, you ask? Uh… it was in Cambridgeshire, of course, and back on December 7th. 

Amazon released a short video that lifts the veil on the process, shining some light on how everything happens so damn fast. In it, a totally-not-sinister-at-all voiceover explains that moments after receiving an order, an entirely autonomous and electrically-powered Amazon Drone makes its way down an automated track at its Cambridgeshire ‘Fulfillment Centre’. It then rises to just below 400 feet before winging its way out to the delivery address using GPS, rather than having a spotty teen controlling it from the ground. 

The vid also talks about the one thing we thought would be the biggest restriction with the service – the weight capacity. The creepy voice states that drones of the Prime Air service, which was first announced back in 2013, can only cope with packages that weigh up to 5lbs – a payload maximum, it turns out, that is more than enough to deal with the 23-disc complete series box set of The Wire we’re getting for Xmas (which clocks in at a little under 3.5lbs).

The future is here, and it’s helping you waste even more money.

Although the Amazon Air service is only currently available to two – two! – customers in Cambridgeshire, which is also the location of the site’s Research and Development Centre, the shopping giants are aiming to roll out its trial drone delivery service to "dozens of customers living within several miles of our UK facility" in the coming months, and then expand it to hundreds more after that.

Quite how it’ll fail to properly fill out a Sorry We Missed You slip and then place it in an absolutely ludicrous spot that we’ll only find six weeks later after non-stop arguments with the delivery service over Twitter, so that we can get the really authentic parcel-getting experience, is yet to be seen. 

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Chris Sayer

Chris Sayer is a freelance journalist and editor based in London. Chris has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and travelled the world doing an all manner of adventures for lots of brilliant magazines. He writes for Shortlist about booze but would probably prefer we let him write about fishing instead. Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSayer00

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