In the latest video sting for his new paymasters, Clarkson waxes sarcastically about Prime Air, Amazon’s forthcoming delivery service.
While the video serves as a helpful reminder that the former Top Gear host is destined to launch a new show on Prime Instant Video sometime in 2016, it’s also peppered with hints about Prime Air, chiefly that you’ll be able to order emergency purchases and have them dropped off at your address in under half an hour.
We think you’ll agree that that’s a very impressive turnaround and, if eventually combined with Amazon’s one-click Dash dongle, means we’ll never have to leave the house.
Related: Watch Jeremy Clarkson burn the BBC in Amazon Fire TV advert, How can I watch Amazon Prime on TV?Unfortunately while the video paints a very tantalising view of the future, it’s leaving us with more questions than answers – the first being is the name of the bulldog in this video (Stewart) a none-too-veiled reference to comedian Stewart Lee, a man not noted for his love of Top Gear.
Secondly, if Amazon’s able to promise a 30 minute drop off for Prime customers, how many drones will it need to have on standby at its eight UK warehouses (or ‘fulfilment centres’ in Amazon-speak) in order to meet that target?
How will Amazon be able to guarantee safe, timely deliveries across somewhere like London – a city with a bigger population than that of Scotland – while reaching out to low, sparsely clustered rural communities?
The video mentions that the type of drone depicted has an effective range of 10 miles (which we’re assuming includes the return journey – Amazon doesn’t say) which renders it useless for places like the Outer Hebrides, the Scilly Isles and Lundy.
Amazon says that it’s testing out a number of vehicle designs and delivery mechanisms for multiple environments and has over 12 prototypes in its labs.
Presumably this answers our third question, which relates to the drone’s landing zone. In the video below, aircraft locks on to a helipad-type marker left out for it in the customer’s garden, scans for obstacles and then touches down.
That’s all well and good if you’ve actually got a garden, rooftop balcony or access to any open space that’s big enough for this UAV to safely land.
If you’re not so lucky, well, hopefully one of the 12+ prototypes is a pigeon-proofed number aimed at folks living on the 8th floor.
Finally, while it’s great that little Millie’s football boot got dropped off in time for the big match in the middle of summer, what’s the carry limit of these things going to be? Will they be able to cope with peak demand over Christmas? What if someone burns the turkey and you want Amazon to airlift a 15-pound frozen bird out to your house?
While you’re mulling over the prospect a giant turkey, here’s Jeremy Clarkson.