In 2013 on 60 Minutes, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos let the world know they intended to have unmanned drones making deliveries. Then in 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration released draft regulations that essentially banned unmanned drone deliveries in the U.S. While the draft regulations weren’t official and could still undergo revisions, it was a major hit for Amazon’s plan.
Now Amazon has taken a significant step forward: PatentYogi has discovered Amazon filed a patent to create docking stations (PatentYogi calls them “birdhouses”) that would appear on top of “light poles, cellphone towers, church steeples and pretty much any structure where you might expect to find a conventional birdhouse” and would allow a drone to “recharge its batteries, download or upload data, even refill hydrocarbon fuel.”
That said, regulations ensure it will likely be years until unmanned drone deliveries occur in the U.S. Plus Amazon may no longer be the first to get there, either: their competitors now include Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
To read more about the docking stations, click here. To better visualize how they might operate, watch the video below.
See how Amazon initially envisioned their drone deliveries working in the video at the bottom.