Most people will have seen the excellent demo video for Amazon Prime Air. It was thought to still be fanciful and a few years off. Well, welcome to the future! Alibaba, the biggest internet retailer in China, has already begun 3 day trials in Beijing and its surrounding environs. Aside from the capital, they are also trailing in Shanghai and Guangzhou. The flights will only deliver to places within an hour of these mega cities, but since these population centres are so massive, it is an incredibly large market that Alibaba is promising to deliver to.
Will it be successful? How will they cope with all the teething problems of how to deliver into an urban area? How do you deliver to a high block of flats with no garden? How do you prevent people stealing deliveries, or damaging the drones in midair?
Do delivery drones present a wider security risk?
All of these questions may be answered or not. But it does seem the first steps into how we shop in the future has already spread its wings.
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