5 Ways an Amazon Drone Will Ruin your Holiday Season

December 6, 2013 by Kyle
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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

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Sandy Cain
Sandy Cain

This will never happen. Amazon’s legal department will take a good look at this and decide the liability for possible decapitation while getting your latest package just ain’t worth it. Heads up, not heads off.

Andrew@LivingRichCheaply

Yes, it would be difficult for us apartment dwellers. Maybe I can build a landing pad by my window for the drone. So true about not really needing things under 30 minutes! Consumers are getting increasingly impatient. Honestly the drone idea is probably not gonna happen, and if it does, not anytime soon. But hey Amazon has everyone talking about them…free publicity! Bezos is a smart guy.

Budget and the Beach

OMG hysterical! This can’t happen mainly for the protection of the goats. I’m pretty sure the FAA will not approve this but considering what the news helicopters get away with in LA who knows…

Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

LOL, hilarious as usual, Kyle. Seriously, though, it’s a cool idea, but not at all logical. Plus, Amazon would have huge damages to pay for wayward drones hitting unsuspecting people/objects. (Not that they can’t afford it 🙂 )

Jrod

Hey Kyle, I love this rant! It’s funny how drones have been the topic of discussion almost everywhere lately. Aside from Amazon, you’ve got the burrito drone, the pizza drone, and I’m sure there’s more out there. Although Shoot’n shop does sound like a fun game, I think drones should be left to military missions and toys…Not quite sure if delivery of anything by drone is a good idea!

DC @ Young Adult Money

Haha this is a great post, it’s definitely hard to imagine drones flying through the air and delivering packages all the time. I heard a more likely use of drones would be to fly from distribution center to distribution center and get the product as close as possible without actually flying to your home.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar

I read this post to my husband while we were driving to Target to Christmas shop. We almost ran off the road laughing. Our neighbors shoot anything that moves, so I can totally see the Shoot n Shop thing happening in our neighborhood. We have some really big eagles and owls around, so I’m curious what they might think if a drone landed in our yard. Might be fun to watch!

Holly@ClubThrifty

The day Amazon starts using drones is the day I never order anything from them again. It’s creepy.

Brent

It’s likely just a very well through out marketing ploy that maaayyyybbbbe one days happens in a few selective markets.

I think you are right that there are tons of reasons and liabilities that would prevent this from happening.

I would never want to read a blog post about how you had to make a year’s supply of goat sausages just because you had to have an item delivered in 30 minuets or less!

David

Great Points!
I thought that it would save time, and the hassle of driving.
But, you are right, there are more downfalls than advantages to the drones.

Todd
Todd

Hopefully Amazon takes a while to implement these. Cant imagine hobbyists and Amazon fighting for the same airspace, I know who will win and its not going to be good! Keep up the good blog.

Gary

Hi Kyle,

As we’ve seen, this isn’t going to happen soon, if ever. Recently there was a project combining cars (vehicles) and drones for delivery that could be a little more promising.

Also…drones taking your head off?

 
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