Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos thrilled the world on Sunday on 60 Minutes, where he introduced Amazon's Prime Air program, which he says will deliver small packages via drone in 30 minutes, starting hopefully in the next five years.
Here, I will troubleshoot the obvious potential problems with this endeavor, while also offering sound solutions.
- Problem: Drones may land on people, power lines or piles of dog poop.
The Amazon Prime Air drones will, in theory, deliver via GPS.
Well, riddle me this, Bezos: How will the drones navigate objects that don't show up on GPS? In some cities, we can barely walk through our pigtail-infested, feces-covered streets, let alone fly a plane through them like they're the trenches on the Death Star.
Solution: Amazon Prime Air customers will receive a pair of orange runway wands to direct drone traffic.
You want your packages in half an hour? Get off your lazy bum and guide them into the perfect spot in your driveway yourself.
You'll feel like you're working on the Logan Airport runway. What a dream!
- Problem: Not everyone lives within 10 miles of an Amazon distribution center.
This 10-mile limit seems a little too restrictive. That's going to leave a lot more coverage holes in the country than we think.
What, so the people in Idaho and Western Mass. will have to get their packages by snail mail now? Ugh, what is this, 2011?
Solution: Move everyone within 10 miles of an Amazon distribution center.
Building more distribution centers would be one way to go, but honestly, shouldn't this just be the breaking point to fully urbanize our country?
Let's shuttle everyone out of these rinky-dink, podunk towns and into our modern cities, which is where magic like Amazon Prime Air happens.
Except for people in Texas. They can just stay and ... do their own thing.
- Problem: Bratty teens will shoot down the drones like clay pigeons.
Drones are just asking to be shot down. Not only will they be carrying easily accessible packages containing any sort of cool merchandise -- they just make good moving targets for anyone with a BB gun.
Solution: Outfit drones with defense mechanisms.
These things need some firepower. I'm talking defense shields, anti-tank weaponry, maybe even photon torpedoes.
If they go out there unarmed, they'll get shot down all over the place. And worse, the U.S. military drones will never let the Amazon ones hear the end of it: "Nana-nana poo-poo, you can't kill anyone like we can!"
- Problem: Drones may take packages for themselves.
What's going to stop these drones from skimming a little off the top? You know a couple will have their own Wall-E-type hideaway somewhere for all their stolen DVDs, books and yoga pants.
Solution: Drone interview process.
Amazon has to vet these drones thoroughly. Employment should require multiple interviews, aptitude tests and three letters of recommendation from sources who can speak to the applicant's character.
Oh, and a drug test. I don't want any potheads in the air. I've seen Flight.
- Problem: Drones may develop anti-capitalist sympathies and turn against us.
Robot revolution. This is just the beginning.
Solution: ... Umm ...
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