CBS News reports that "Amazon is testing a service that will drop its pharmacy patients' medications on their doorsteps via drone in an hour or less.
"It is piloting the drone delivery service with customers in College Station, Texas, the company said Wednesday. Deliveries from Amazon Pharmacy are made within 60 minutes of a patient placing an order, at no extra cost.
"Customers can have more than 500 medications to treat conditions like flu, asthma and pneumonia delivered."
Amazon said that it is "working closely with national regulators and international regulators, and communities in the EU, Italy, the UK, and the U.S." to expand the program to new areas - the UK and Italy are said to be high on the list.
Amazon also said that its "newest drone, the MK30, is unlike any other drone. The new design can fly twice as far as previous Prime Air drone models, which will allow us to deliver to customers who live farther out from our fulfillment networks. The MK30 is quieter and will be able to fly in more diverse weather conditions—meaning customers can get super speedy deliveries even in situations like light rain, and hotter and colder temperatures. Our drones have a unique package delivery system, where packages are held inside drones during transit to protect their contents."
- KC's View:
Impressive, and yet somehow this already seems like old news - there were companies testing drone deliveries of prescriptions years ago, and it seems like Walmart is way ahead of where Amazon is on this at the moment.
Not to suggest that Amazon should take its foot off the gas. Far from it. But it does seem like this is an area in which not that long ago Amazon seemed to have a first-mover advantage, which somehow has been lost.
Not sure what happened there.