Customers in the UK and Italy will be able to receive packages via delivery drone at the end of 2024, says the retail giant.
The firm launched a similar service in the US nearly a year ago for packages weighing under 2.2kg.
As part of the UK roll-out, new MK30 drone designs have been unveiled, which are said to be quieter, smaller and lighter than previous models. They can also fly twice as far as previous Prime Air drone models and operate in more diverse weather conditions.
Amazon said it was “working closely” with both national and international regulators to develop the programme.
The firm had previously attempted a similar service with support from the UK government in 2015. But it wound down those efforts after failing to secure full regulatory approval.
“We have committed the necessary time and resources to build a safe and scalable service,” Amazon said.
“We have refined the technology, and are now building the right infrastructure to ensure the service provides the ultimate convenience for our customers. We’ve also taken great care to ensure that our drones’ design philosophy and demonstrated levels of safety are setting a higher bar for safety across the commercial drone delivery industry, working closely with regulators to design to the highest standard set within those regulations.”
The MK30 drones will operate autonomously, and are equipped with sense-and-avoid technology that allows them to dodge obstacles in the delivery area.
In the US, the drone service has so far been limited to standalone Prime Air delivery centres in parts of California and Texas. But they are now integrated into the Amazon delivery network, so customers will have traditional delivery vans, Flex delivery vehicles and Prime Air drones leaving from the same building.
Aviation minister Baroness Vere said: “Amazon’s announcement today is a fantastic example of government and industry coming together to achieve our shared vision for commercial drones to be commonplace in the UK by 2030.
“Not only will this help boost the economy, offering consumers even more choice while helping keep the environment clean with zero-emission technology, but it will also build our understanding how to best use the new technology safely and securely.”
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