Amazon’s secret R&D project aimed at delivering packages to your doorstep by “octocopter” mini-drones with a mere 30-minute delivery time
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had a big surprise for correspondent Charlie Rose this week. After their 60 Minutes interview, Bezos walked Rose into a mystery room at the Amazon offices and revealed a secret R&D project: “Octocopter” drones that will fly packages directly to your doorstep in 30 minutes.
It’s an audacious plan that Bezos says requires more safety testing and FAA approvals, but he estimates that delivery-by-drone, called Amazon “Prime Air,” will be available to customers in as soon as 4-5 years.
When Charlie Rose walked in and saw the Prime Air drones sitting on a tabletop for the show-and-tell, he exclaimed “Oh, my God!” It was a genuine reaction– Rose and the 60 Minutes team weren’t in on the secret beforehand. The story had been in the works for months before the Amazon representatives started hinting that a new project might be revealed to 60 Minutes.
“I only knew that there was a surprise coming. I had no idea what it was,” says 60 Minutes producer Draggan Mihailovich. “They kept saying over and over again, ‘Whatever you think it is, it isn’t.’” Mihailovich grew skeptical when the Amazon PR team began to hype their surprise behind the scenes. “How great can this be?” he thought.