Dozens of employees will be out of a job as the eCommerce giant reached deals with drone companies.
The Financial Times reported that Amazon would ax dozens of people working in its Prime Air Drone project’s research development and manufacturing. It will be using external manufacturers instead to help them build the devices.
The report stated that the eCommerce behemoth reached tentative deals with FACC Aerospace in Austria and Aernnova Aerospace in Space. These outside companies will manufacturer the drone’s components.
What’s the Use of the Drone?
Amazon will use the drones for its Prime Air. It’s a delivery system designed to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using drones.
With this project, Amazon believes that it can offer rapid parcel delivery that can increase its transportation system’s safety.
The company has been working on this project since 2013.
Regarding the deals with external manufacturers, they are still finalizing the full terms of the agreements.
Furthermore, the eCommerce giant sent out a request for proposal to various companies. It means that the companies mentioned above aren’t the only third parties involved in the process.
Amazon Earned FAA Certification
In August of this year, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Amazon to start testing its customer drone deliveries.
The certification is a milestone in the company’s years-long effort to start commercial drone deliveries.
According to Amazon’s spokesperson,
“As part of our regular business operations, we are reorganizing one small team within our larger Prime Air organization to allow us to best align with the needs of our customers and the business. For affected employees, we are working to find roles in the areas where we are hiring that best match their experience and needs.
In addition to the US, Amazon has Prime Air development centers in the UK, Austria, Israel, and France. They are testing the vehicles in various international locations.
The company is also working with regulators to design an air traffic management system to recognize who is flying the drone, where it’s passing, and determine whether it adheres to operating requirements.
Some companies are now using drones to deliver time-sensitive items, like medicines. Drones are also effective in delivering essential items to places where traditional vehicles can’t reach.
Delivery drones can also change delivery economies for smaller packages.
With drone delivery, it can reduce roadway congestion. It also improves the parcel’s safety since there’s less heavy traffic and fewer conflicts.
However, it also faces some obstacles. Because of the limited package weights, the drone can’t deliver larger items. It also needs collision avoidance systems if drone deliveries are more commonplace.
And the weather condition might bring down a drone that could potentially harm someone on the ground.
These aren’t the only hurdles drone deliveries will face.
The Amazon Prime Air drone project may still be years away before customers can choose to use Prime Air.
Hopefully, those affected employees will have job roles within the company, as promised. Or they can just make their own drones and sell them.