Lockeford, the peaceful town where Amazon packages will rain
This hexagonal drone is one of the designs that Amazon has developed in its laboratories in recent years.
This hexagonal drone is one of the designs that Amazon has developed in its laboratories in recent years.amazon

Amazon has chosen a sleepy town of 3,200 people to launch one of its most anticipated services, drone package delivery. This milestone has been significant enough to make a space in the Wikipedia entry for Lockeford, the community in northern California that will witness this new step towards an automated future. “By launching this service we will be investing in the community, creating new jobs and building relationships with local organizations, in addition to reducing carbon emissions,” the company reported when confirming the pilot site for the experiment.

Amazon has reported this Monday that it is working with the authorities of the Federal Aviation Administration to obtain the necessary permits to make deliveries with remote-controlled machines. Only three logistics companies in the country have started the process before the air regulator. The company has been working on this project for almost 10 years and scientists, engineers, professionals in the aerospace industry and futurists are involved. In its corporate blog, the company founded by Jeff Bezos has not given a start date for the distribution in Lockeford, but has promised to share photos and images soon.

Lockeford residents will find a selection of products that are eligible for Prime Air on Amazon. Once purchased, they will receive an estimated time for the delivery of the order. “For these, the drones will fly to the designated delivery area, descend into the customers’ backyard and hover at a safe distance. Subsequently, they will leave the package and return to altitude”, explained the company.

The machines that will be used are not ordinary drones. According to Amazon, they have developed “sophisticated and industry-leading” devices that can avoid obstacles such as other aircraft, chimneys, people or pets, thanks to a series of sensors that allow them to visualize their surroundings in long-distance trajectories. “This design was for two scenarios: to fly safely in transit and to be safe while approaching the ground… If obstacles are detected, our drones will change the route immediately,” the company added.

It is not known for sure why the consumer giant chose this small town 60 kilometers south of Sacramento, the capital of California. Amazon has only released a few winks, including that Lockeford has “historical ties” to the aviation industry. The town was founded in 1851 by two brothers who left Boston in search of a better life. They arrived at this place, where they built a cabin, but they were soon unable to inhabit it due to the large number of bears. A short time later, they built a fort that gave the community its name. At the end of the 19th century, a local resident, Weldon Cooke, was beginning to experiment with building and flying airplanes. More than a century later, residents will have the opportunity to sign up for free air delivery of thousands of everyday products.

Despite the optimism that the company uses in its institutional communication, it remains to be seen if Amazon can finally materialize a long dream. Since 2016, the company began to reveal its plans. The first tests were done in the United Kingdom, the site chosen for the launch of Prime Air. Executives threw the bells on the fly saying that drones would be a reality before long. They offered tours of the laboratories that designed the machines and opened a huge office in Cambridge. A video on social media went viral with the promise that what had once been science fiction was no more.

The voices of the workers were far from the illusion created by the executives. A series of testimonials collected by Wired magazine, specialized in technology, instead described a chaotic work environment with disorganization, high employee turnover and lack of leadership in the project. The publication claims that more than 100 workers were laid off from the Cambridge office. Others were relocated to Costa Rica. In 2019, the course of the project was corrected, which now aims to finally demonstrate that Amazon is ready to take flight.

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