Adam Ozimek shakes his head:
[T]here is no reason that the drones cannot be incorporated into a hub and spoke model of their own. I think people are taking video Bezos showed to 60 Minutes of a drone leaving the warehouse and going straight to someone’s home a little too literally. You could, for one example, have the autonomous robots … loading packages into self-driving trucks that transport the packages on highways to just outside the city limits. Then once they’ve covered the longer haul from the fulfillment center to just outside the city the top of the truck opens and the delivery drones come out to fly to the final destinations. This would focus the drones on the notoriously expensive “last mile problem” of transportation, and would mean you don’t need thousands of drones making a redundant journey from warehouse to city limits.
Chinese entrepreneurs are already toying with commercial applications for drones:
Drone delivery undoubtedly has a certain appeal to the Chinese authorities, who are increasingly struggling to control both traffic and pollution in China’s major cities. On top of that, e-commerce is growing much faster than delivery infrastructure in rural and mountainous parts of China, such that logistics systems are emerging as a big area of investment (paywall).
Earlier Dish on the announcement here.