Amazon: Get out of the skies, keep your eyes on the road
It’s been a big week for Amazon, who used the major shopping week after cyber Monday to show off innovative new ways to deliver packages.
Yet in one analyst’s opinion, the Internet retailer should get its head out of the clouds and keep its eyes on the road.
Almost exactly two years ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company would test delivery via unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. The next stage of Bezo’s vision for drone delivery took flight Monday morning, when Amazon released a video of a drone completing a test delivery with “Amazon Prime Air.” On Friday, the retail giant said it would move to build up its own fleet of “several thousand” semi trucks to deliver orders around the country.
But the next step — regulatory approval — is likely a decade away, Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities told CNBC. If delivery speed is Amazon’s goal Pachter said other options, such as driverless cars, would be a more near-term reality for the company.
“I think technological feasibility is now,” Pachter said. “But I think legal possibility is at least 10 years out. So no contribution from this until we get a government that can meet and agree on things.”
To be sure, both technologies, while gaining traction, have had their problems.
The field for driverless cars is arguably more crowded: Companies fromTesla, Microsoft, Apple and Google are reportedly exploring autonomous vehicle production. But those test cases have had their fair share of kerfuffles, including a fender bender involving a Google car last month.
Still, Pachter estimates each package now costs Amazon around $5 to ship, regardless of delivery truck size. If a more creative technology can bring that cost down, it might be feasible, Pachter said.