Amazon propels drone operation with launch of Cambridge R&D site

Online retail giant Amazon is set to ramp up its focus on drone capabilities after opening the doors of a new development facility in Cambridge.

The new 60,000sqft building, which will house over 400 scientists, engineers, data scientists, mathematical modellers, speech scientists and software engineers, is part of Amazon’s expansion plans within the city.

The new building is Amazon’s second development centre site in the Cambridge city centre and is housing research and development teams working on a range of projects that serve customers around the world including.

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The new centre will work towards developing Prime Air, Amazon’s future delivery system designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as Amazon Alexa, the brain that powers devices such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show.

Digital minister, Matt Hancock, said: “I’m delighted Amazon has chosen the UK for its new research and development centre. This will create hundreds of highly skilled jobs and sends a clear signal to the world we are open for business.

“We’re determined to make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital firm, are working hard to deliver our groundbreaking Digital Strategy and Amazon’s latest investment is another boost for our world-leading digital economy.”

Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, added: “The exciting and innovative new products and services developed here will benefit millions of customers around the world, complementing the work that goes on in our other development centres in London and Edinburgh. I hope this new building will contribute towards our global innovation story with voice recognition, streaming video, machine learning and drone technology all being developed right here in the UK.”

The new facility is part of Amazon’s significant investment in the UK, with the company investing more than £6.4bn in the UK in building and running its operations since 2010.

The company also has development centres in London, primarily focusing on R&D for Amazon’s global Prime Video Service and Edinburgh, focusing on improving Amazon’s online and mobile shopping experience.

Tags : AmazonCambridgedrone deliveryDrone developmentPrime Airresearch and development
Emma Calder

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