Amazon to Offer Delivery by Drones in 2015

December 22, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. drone [drohn] (n.) – a small aircraft without a human pilot on board
ExampleDrones can be operated through remote controls.

2. autonomous [aw-TON-uh-muhs] (adj.) – acting independently instead of being controlled by another
Example: An autonomous drone is operated by an onboard computer and is not remotely controlled by a human being.

3. behemoth [bih-HEE-muhth] (n.) – something that is huge and powerful
Example: The behemoths of the global smartphone industry are leading the market.

4. conveyor belt [kuh n-VEY-er belt] (n. phrase) – a continuous, moving strip of metal, rubber or fabric that is used to move things from one place to another
Example: Most airports use conveyor belts in the baggage pickup area.

5. legislation [lej-is-LEY-shuh n] (n.) – a law or a set of laws made by a country’s government
Example:  The senators proposed a new legislation that would allow drones to be used for personal and commercial purposes.


Read the text below.
Retail giant Amazon is planning to launch a new service that will use drones to deliver packages to its customers.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the experimental delivery system in a TV show earlier this month. Dubbed as “Prime Air,” the service will employ autonomous drones to get packages in the hands of customers in 30 minutes or less. According to Bezos, the service will be initially available in areas that are within ten miles of any Amazon distribution center.

In a video on Amazon’s website, the retail behemoth explained how Prime Air would work. Once a shopper places an order on Amazon’s website, the ordered item will be placed inside a yellow Amazon container.

After travelling through conveyor belts, the container will be picked up by an Amazon drone, which will then fly to the shopper’s registered address and drop the package off at the doorstep. All orders that weigh five pounds or less will be eligible for the service.

The service, however, will take a few years before becoming a reality. According to Bezos, this is because Prime Air is still in the research stage and also because the American government still needs to pass legislation allowing the use of drones for commercial purposes. Bezos added that they hope the new laws would be in place by 2015, by which the technology will completely be ready.

Right now, Amazon is already starting to offer same-day delivery in some parts of the U.S. It also aims to offer Sunday deliveries soon.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that using drones for deliveries is a good idea? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, how else can drones be used? Discuss with your tutor.

Discussion B

·         Do you agree that in the future, shopping will completely be done online instead of in physical stores? Why or why not?
·         What other game-changing technologies would you like to see next? Discuss with your tutor.


December 22, 2013