If you caught the 60 Minutes piece last week talking to Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, you already know that Amazon is working on the flying delivery of packages via remote powered drones called Amazon Prime Air. According to Bezos, these little drones known as “octocopters” because of their 8 swirling blades, could be delivering packages weighing up to five pounds by 2015.
My mind immediately started racing with the potential problems, some hilarious and some tragic…
1. Pets Beware
My Basset Hound “Bo” would go absolutely nuts if an Amazon drone tried to land in our front yard. He would either run off in complete fear and get hit by a car or get waaaay too close to the eight swirling ear slicers. Tip to Bezos: Have the drones drop a dog treat before landing, maybe even drop the treat 30 feet away from where the thing actually lands. I mean seriously, our UPS driver is always armed with a pocket full of dog treats and Bo the Basset runs with delight when he pulls into our driveway.
Also, as has been previously documented, my family has two new pygmy goats here on the Rather-Be-Shopping.com ranch. What the heck happens if the drone gets off course by 30 feet and lands in the goat pen? We could be eating goat sausage for months. Going to have a hard time explaining that one to the kids. Not good.
2. Shoot’n Shop Time!
I live in a fairly conservative part of the country where folks love their Fox News and their guns. What’s to keep folks from taking out their shotguns and doing a little “shoot’n shop”?
I can picture it now, it’s Christmas Eve and you still don’t have a gift for your wife, just set up a lawn chair in the front yard and when you see a drone in the area, BANG!, shoot the thing down, wrap the contents, and stick’r under the tree. A little Uncle Eddie”ish” no doubt, but you can’t tell me people won’t do this, especially in rural areas.
3. Beware the Flying Guillotine
What is to keep this thing from lopping off someones noggin as they walk around the neighborhood? Nothing says Christmas like red blood in the streets. Yikes. Bezos even talked about this in the interview. The systems to make Prime Air work correctly would have to be pretty rock solid. One head lopping and the experiment is over.
4. Apartment Dwellers Beware
If you don’t have a front yard and instead live in an apartment you might end up with a drone banging against your sliding glass door, destroying your screen door, trying to deliver your Christmas packages. The logistics of Prime Air give me a headache just thinking about it. If this ever actually happens, I think the percentage of people and houses that will be approved for delivery will be exactly 34 homes nationwide. They will be large estates, with HUGE front lawns, inside the city limits of large metropolitan areas. Ironically, these will also be the only people who’ll be able to afford it.
5. What Do You Really Need in 30 Minutes?
Amazon promises 30 minute deliver on most packages with Prime Air. Let’s see, the list of Christmas gifts or everyday products I MUST have within 30 minutes? Pretty short list. Maybe Insulin. Rattlesnake venom. As for Christmas….maybe gravy. Nothing worse than carving up the turkey or prime rib and realizing you don’t have any gravy for the mashed potatoes. Prime Air to the rescue baby.
Ask the Reader: What do you think of Amazon Prime Air? Do you think you’d use it if the delivery costs were fairly reasonable? Not sure what “fairly reasonable” would be though. Kind of fun to think about.
By Kyle James