November 10, 2022
Amazon has provided a first look at its next-generation delivery drone for its Prime Air delivery service. The MK30 is lighter and smaller than the MK27-2, the drone that will be making deliveries in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, later this year.
Amazon said the MK30 has increased range, expanded temperature tolerance, and a new capability to fly in light rain, which will enable customers to choose drone delivery more often for their packages.
“Reducing the noise signature of our drones is an important engineering challenge that our team is working on,” Amazon writes on its corporate blog post announcing the drone. “Our drones fly hundreds of feet in the air, well above people and structures. Even when they descend to deliver packages, our drones are generally quieter than a range of sounds you would commonly hear in a typical neighborhood.” Even so, Amazon said its Prime Air Flight Science team created custom-designed propellers that aim to reduce the MK30’s perceived noise by 25%.
Amazon said the new drone will go through “rigorous evaluation” by aerospace authorities, including the Federal Aviation Administration, to verify its safety and reliability. The company said the drones include a sense-and-avoid system that allows them to operate at greater distances while safely and reliably avoiding people, pets, obstacles, and other aircraft.
The global drone package delivery market is expected to be $31.2 billion by 2028, according to Fortune Business Insights.