A new report from Wired in Amazon’s drone delivery program to the UK, the operation has lost more than 100 employees, with insiders claiming the project is “crumbling inward.”
Citing testimonials from former employees, Wired describes a culture of managerial dysfunction and overwork. In February 2020, for example, Amazon reportedly shut down a team of dozens in the UK dedicated to analyzing drone footage to identify humans and animals, only to reopen the unit months later. Other stories cited in the report include the rapid turnover of senior executives, one employee drinking beer at his desk in the morning, and another “fixing the ‘approve’ button on his computer so that all images are approved unrelated. with whether there were dangers or not.
As a former worker said Wired: “Everything started to crumble inwards because they [Amazon] Overcrowded, they put people in charge who knew nothing about the project and they oversold. All of this is just a gigantic oversold – so many promises that cannot be kept. “
An Amazon spokesperson said Wired that the company will continue to have a Prime Air presence in the UK, but has not confirmed its current or future workforce.
It is not clear how the dysfunction described in WiredAmazon’s report extends to Amazon’s global drone delivery program, which was first announced in 2013. Clearly, the company has oversold the ease of introduction of the technology, although, promising in June 2019, it would launch a delivery service in ”the coming months. In August last year, Amazon finally received FAA approval to deliver packages to the United States – which it cited as a key constraint – but has yet to set a timeline yet. where it could happen.
Amazon has positioned the UK as a big market for its technology, announcing in 2016 that it had made its first real drone delivery to Cambridge, England. But it was a stunt using a pre-arranged order, and Amazon never offered commercial deliveries to the UK.
Good that Wiredthe report focuses on the UK operation, some of the issues identified in the the story appears to be bearing down on Amazon’s overall drone ambitions. This particularly concerns the company’s desire to land its drones to deliver their packages, a method that requires particularly careful navigation. On the other hand, competitors like Wing, owned by Google, drop packages without actually going down to the ground.
The edge has contacted Amazon for further comment and will update this story if we have any news.