Drones come to Cambridge

Cambridge is set to see unmanned drones for the first time in its history. Be afraid.

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Infamous for continually devising ways to destroy the high street, Amazon, everybody’s favourite online retailing colossus, has aimed its shiny new delivery machinery at our innocent city centre.

This time the company has pulled out all the stops and is taking the plunge into the uncharted waters of same-day delivery.

Stealing the streets of Cambridge

For this task, Amazon has disposed of humans and turned to drones, which it hopes to test in Cambridge.

Apparently, it is here to exploit the pool of R&D talent linked to the university, though the choice of Cambridge surely also reflects Amazon’s desire to crack the final frontier that is the vibrant city centre of a university town.

The online giant set its sights on the city two years ago, when it bought Cambridge-based start-up Evi Technologies.

Delivering textbooks since 2014

Geography seems to have been another factor. According to Nick Bubb, a retail analyst, “Cambridge probably isn’t a bad place to trial drones, as it’s a relatively dry part of the country and aircraft-free.”

However, he warned The Guardian that “there are still bound to be accidents and collisions.”

Yeh, forget it: Amazon will fly your tomatoes to the front door

When Amazon announced at the end of last year it wanted to deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of ordering, it was commonly assumed that it was an over the top, up in the clouds publicity stunt.

Now, it seems, the clouds of Cambridgeshire may soon be full of drones.

Perhaps they already are. Cambridge has enough human drones digressing off into the clouds of mid-lecture thought as it is.