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Amazon plans to launch its first commercial drone delivery program later this year in the town of Lockeford, California, the company announced yesterday. The plan must receive final approval from federal regulators, though Amazon has already been granted approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to carry out drone operations.
The e-commerce giant accounted for more than 43% of US e-commerce last year, delivering roughly $380B in goods. The company says thousands of products will be available via drones—though reports suggest the proprietary drone’s maximum current payload is 5 pounds.
Amazon’s drone program has been under development for close to a decade and has endured a number of missteps, including a crash last summer that sparked a 25-acre brush fire near Pendleton, Oregon.