Amazon has been granted a patent that will allow the company to self-destruct its drones in the event of an emergency using an on-board computer to determine the safest course of action. By self-destructing, Amazon intends to have the drone break into separate fragments in the air and try to have them fall in the safest areas.
In a mock-up design of the system submitted to the patent body, Amazon shows the drone breaking into pieces with parts falling onto empty patches of ground, into a small body of water, and into a tree. By falling into these locations, passing pedestrians are less likely to be hit by any part of the drone.
Amazon began using drones in the wild last winter after flying a package to a customer in England. That drone delivered an Amazon Fire streaming device and popcorn to a Richard B., the flight lasted just 13 minutes and covered two miles.
Despite Amazon being granted the patents, it doesn’t mean that Amazon will actually implement a self-destructing mechanism on their drones, however, it’d probably be a good idea seeing as a fully built drone could be deadly if it clonks someone on the head. For the time being, though, we should be safe seeing as most deliveries are still brought to us by courier.