July 23, 2024
Amazon shows off latest delivery drone, plans liftoff in UK and Italy next year

From around this time next year, Amazon customers in the UK and Italy will have the option to get their packages delivered by drone, the retail giant announced Wednesday.

While Amazon has been delivering small packages via drone in Texas and California for over a year now, this is the first time the company will roll out the service beyond US borders. Where exactly in the UK and Italy the service will begin has yet to be revealed.

The announcement came the same day as Amazon showcased its next-generation delivery drone design —  the MK30. While it doesn’t improve on the carrying capacity (approximately 2.2kg) of its predecessor, the new drone is slated to be “quieter, smaller and lighter.”

The MK30 also doubles the range of previous Prime Air drone models, with roughly half the noise, and in more diverse weather conditions, Amazon said. The previous version did not allow delivery in light rain, wind, hot temperatures, or other adverse conditions.

The new drone is equipped with sense-and-avoid technology to dodge obstacles. Its design takes on a tiltrotor concept, acting as a helicopter upon takeoff and transitioning into horizontal wing-borne flight once in the air.