Merchant Innovation

Why Amazon Thinks Drones Will Be The Next Mail Truck

Delivering products via air by drones may not be for years, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told The Telegraph in a recent interview, but when it does happen, it’s likely to happen in the U.K. first, he noted.

Why does the CEO think so? Because U.K. regulators are more receptive to the concept, Bezos said. He also thinks that the Prime Air deliveries will eventually become the next common method of delivery.

“One day Prime Air deliveries will be as common as seeing a mail truck,” Bezos said in the interview. “The technical problems are very straight ahead. The biggest issue, or the biggest thing that needs to be worked on, is the regulatory side.”

He didn’t technically share which country was likely to see delivery drones first, but based on what he said about the regulatory environment in both countries, it seems the U.K. is poised to welcome drones first.

“What I would say is that in the scheme of things the U.K. regulatory agencies have been very advanced. The FAA [the U.S. aviation regulator] is catching up a little here in the U.S., but the U.K. has been, I’d say, a very encouraging example of good regulation. I think we like what we see there,” Bezos told The Telegraph.

While he said the timeframe for delivery drones was more long-term, meaning years out, he did confirm that drones will enter the delivery market.

In that same interview, Bezos spoke briefly about Amazon’s possible move toward the brick-and-mortar side, which he hinted could eventually happen. Still, he recognized that Amazon would have to determine how it could bring something new to the physical retail market.

“Physical stores have obviously been around for hundreds of years. And the companies that are experts at them are very good at their businesses. So I think it’s an area where we need to be very humble,” Bezos said. “If Amazon were to do physical stores, we’d need to have something that’s a little different.”

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