By Shirley Hawkins
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was recently profiled on 60 Minutes and revealed that the nation’s largest online retailer is definitely making bold strides to continue to satisfy its 225 million customers.
Amazon has also ventured into the apparel business with Amazon fashion, which launched this fall and offers customers high end clothing.
An Amazon Fulfillment Center has been established in San Bernardino, California that is as large as 10 football fields. Bezos said that most of the profits from Amazon are spent to build more distribution centers.
There is also Alpha House, a television series launched by Amazon which was picked out of thousands of scripts by Amazon customers. The series focuses on four Republican congressmen who share the same apartment. The politically themed comedy was written by Doonesbury cartoonist Gary Trudeau.
Bezos said that perhaps the most ambitious project on Amazon’s drawing board is Amazon Prime Air, a delivery service where packages will be dropped off by flying drones in 30 minutes or less.
“I know it looks like science fiction, but it’s not,” Bezos said, and previewed a video of a flying drone dropping off an item at a customer’s doorstep with 60 Minutes. “It won’t work for everything. We’re not going to deliver kayaks or electric saws this way,” he added.
Bezos said that the airborne vehicles will be able to carry up to five pounds. “That covers 85% of the items we deliver. (The drone) is all electric, it’s very green, and it’s better than driving trucks around,” he pointed out. Bezos added that Amazon Prime Air will primarily operate in urban areas.
Bezos said that the Amazon Prime Air project won’t come to fruition right away. “This can’t land on somebody’s head while they’re walking around their neighborhood—that’s not good,” he pointed out. “But I don’t want anyone to think this is just around the corner. There are years of additional work from this point.
“I know it can’t be before 2015 because that’s the earliest we can get the rules from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration),” he pointed out. “But could it happen in 4, 5 years? I think so. It will work, and it will happen, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”