Amazon Tube to Revolutionize Online Shopping
April 1, 2013 – by Per Christensson
Are you frustrated with same-day delivery because it just isn't fast enough? If you want to receive your online order in minutes instead of hours, Amazon has the solution for you.
The e-commerce giant announced today that its rumored underground project is, well, underground. A spokesperson for the company revealed Amazon has started building tunnels throughout the United States in order to create a domestic underground shipping system. The goal of the new "Amazon Tube" service is to provide customers with their products in as few as five minutes after an order has been placed.
Amazon has already installed the infrastructure for the tube system beneath its main fulfillment centers. Each distribution point will connect to multiple pipelines that will serve as the underground system's backbone. The largest tubes will travel across state lines, while medium-size tubes will filter items to different cities. Small "minitubes" will carry items directly to business and residential addresses. An underground Wi-Fi network will guide each item using a wireless transmitter attached to each package.
While the tube-based delivery system may seem like a complicated engineering problem, Amazon has developed a simplified solution. Instead of a traditional box, each product ordered with Amazon Tube delivery will be placed in a spherical package that can easily roll through a tube. In order to transport items over long distances, Amazon has implemented a series of downward sloping underground tunnels and pulleys to keep items moving. Vacuum pressure will be used to suction each item to its final destination.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos promoted the new service saying, "We are thrilled to offer this convenient service to our valued customers. Amazon.com revolutionized the way consumers buy products, and Amazon Tube will revolutionize the way these products are delivered." He added, "We know that overnight shipping can be annoyingly slow and we believe we have developed the perfect solution." A company representative said the new delivery service will be free to Amazon Prime members, but will cost $80 per item for customers who have not already been pressured into signing up for Amazon Prime.
Amazon Tube is currently in the trial phase and is only available to a select number of households near the company's Seattle headquarters. These users, not-so-creatively called "test tubes," are already enjoying same-hour delivery of many of their favorite products. The company plans to roll out Amazon Tube nationwide by June 30, 2075.