Last Sunday on the CBS television show “60 Minutes,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company’s intention to offer rapid deliveries using unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly referred to as “drones,” in as early as 2015.
While this is a revolutionary idea for retailers, it overshadowed another delivery innovation from Amazon that is slated to be offered to Amazon Prime customers in Chattanooga in early 2014: a catapult-powered delivery service.
“Drone delivery may still be a few years away,” said Bezos. “But we have the technology, today, to offer catapult delivery, which can send packages to your doorstep in literally seconds.”
The technology, called Amazon PrimePult, will undergo a pilot program at the Chattanooga Amazon Distribution Center, the location of which offers largely unobstructed trajectories to residential areas within a five-mile radius.
“The catapult may seem like a low-tech apparatus – something from the Middle Ages,” said Bezos. “But the high-powered, incredibly precise catapults we have developed are on the cutting edge of modern technology, which take into account wind speed and direction readings, taken in real-time from over five hundred anemometers surrounding the facility.”
“Our tests have been a resounding success,” said Bezos. “Catapult deliveries so far have delivered packages, up to ten pounds in weight, to within five feet of their targets, 99.9% of the time, with only a few mid-air collisions with geese, helicopters and kites.”