Delivery reinvented: Amazon is testing drones in India

What do you think about getting your parcel 90 minutes after you placed your order online? ? It may become a common way to send parcels in few years according to Amazon. The online retailer presented “Prime Air” in December 2013, its new delivery service by drone. The system will be soon tested in India.


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India is the perfect test area for commercial drones:

A lot of obstacles were in Amazon’s way in December 2013, when they presented their new idea. These impediments were mostly present  on the legal side. In the United States or other countries,  there are strict regulations regarding to remote controlled pilotless aircrafts.
Strict rules foresee that each drone needs federal approval to be allowed to flight. Hence, it is not possible to test it in the US for now. That’s why Amazon decided to launch the test phase in India. India is attractive because the country has fewer regulations on the unmanned aerial devices. The e-commerce giant wants to begin in Mumbai and Bangalore, where its warehouses are located.

There are legal limitations, but Amazon must also convince the authorities, that the drone delivery system is secure for flight above humans and in the aviation area. Another problem is the damage or loss of the goods, because of a possible crash or attack.

How does a delivery process by drones look like?

Amazon estimates  that goods can be delivered between 90 minutes and three hours. With this innovation, Amazon doesn’t need traditional ways of shipping anymore; their parcels could be delivered really fast. Drones will be able to carry up to two-kilo  packages. It could therefore carry 86% of the products sold by Amazon.

In India Amazon could start its drone service before Diwali, a big indian festival, which takes place in October and November. At this occasion, a lot of goods are ordered online. It will be the perfect time for Amazon to show the efficiency of its new delivery service.

With this initiative, Amazon could show that delivery by drones is possible and it could maybe change the regulations in the United States and in Europe.


Marie EliseMarie-Elise Tournier – Master 2 Droit de l’économie numérique passionnée de nouvelles technologie et des problématiques juridiques en découlant.

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