The Flight of Amazon’s Valkyries

OK, so Bezos is working on a fleet of drones to deliver small packages from an Amazon warehouse in 30 minutes or less. Cool.

It’s cool until you think about how that’s going to affect the real jobs of delivery people. Then it’s appalling to save a buck on delivery by designing technology that deliberately makes a class of workers obsolete. This isn’t an example of problem-solving disruption. This is cost-saving so you don’t have to negotiate with low-paid workers.

Over at The Verge, there is a long thread starting about what could go wrong, from gun nuts shooting them out of the sky, to stealing the packages, to stealing the drones; to car accidents (when a package drops on a crowded freeway) to mutilations (when drones drop on a crowded street).

The American mind is a fascinating thing to watch.

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8 Responses to The Flight of Amazon’s Valkyries

  1. syrbal-labrys says:

    I watched that bit on “60 Minutes” and don’t get the ‘happy happy joy joy’ vibe they gave it. I think of Amazon as Walmart in a warehouse where they don’t need to pay greeters. And those flying drones can’t gripe about hot warehouses, can they?

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  2. grs says:

    There was a drone flying over a beer fest I went to this past summer. It was just taking aerial shots of the crowd. Most everyone cheered and raised a glass as it went overhead. It was a hobby drone someone built in their garage. I was amazed at how quiet it was. Maybe it was the size of the crowd or maybe it was because I had a few soda pops in me, but you could not hear the thing when it was 60 feet overhead.

    I imagine it finds your location by GPS. What if someone enters their location as the local waste water treatment plant or elementary school? Wait till one crashes into some power lines or knocks out a substation. Can’t imagine it would be terribly hard to jump the frequency those things operate at. They’re glorified RC cars.

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  3. grs says:

    And how do you get a prostitute in the back of one of those?

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  4. Nangleator says:

    I don’t really want to live in a country with the kind of coverage so that everyone can get a 30-minute delivery via something that slow. How many Amazon warehouses will that take? Will every fire station have to be converted for that to work?

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  5. Ole Phat Stu says:

    What about delivery to skyscraper addresses?
    So the boxes are one-way scrap?
    What does the FAA allow?
    Who is liable when the dog attacks it?
    Question after question…

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