Amazon says it's going to start making Prime deliveries by drone later this year, beginning in California

Amazon says it's going to start making Prime deliveries by drone later this year, beginning in California
An early version of Amazon Prime Air's drone.Amazon
  • Some Amazon customers are about to get their packages by drone, not delivery driver.
  • Amazon said Monday it'll start making Prime Air deliveries via drone later this year.

Amazon packages you receive later this year could be delivered by a drone, not a driver — at least if you live in one California town.

That's because Amazon will soon start making deliveries via Prime Air using drones, the company said in a press release Monday. It'll start in Lockeford, California, later this year.

Customers there will see items available for Prime Air delivery on Amazon. They'll make purchases as usual, and a drone will fly to the designated delivery location. The device will descend into the customer's backyard, hover and release the package, and fly back up again.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

Amazon says its drones have a "sense-and-avoid system" that helps them spot both stationary and moving objects to avoid colliding with people, pets, other aircraft, and other obstacles. The drones course-correct if they identify obstacles in order to avoid them and, when descending at a customer's home, they make sure the surrounding area is empty for landing, Amazon added.

Amazon says it's built more than two dozen prototypes since the creation of Prime Air. Amazon first announced plans for the project in 2013, and Insider reported in March that the company aimed to recruit 1,300 test customers for drone deliveries. Its latest iteration of the drone has a hexagonal shape for stability and propellers "specifically designed to minimize high-frequency soundwaves," the company said in the press release.


The FAA gave Amazon the all-clear to start delivery drone operations in 2020. Prime Air has seen some turbulence over the years. In March, Insider's Katherine Long reported that Amazon's drones had crashed at least eight times in the past 13 months. At least one of those crashes led to a fire, setting a field ablaze in Oregon.