Amazon Drone To Replace Ski Lifts?


Amazon Drone To Replace Ski Lifts?

Amazon is trying to Prime deliver HUMANS to the top of the mountain.

Earlier this week, Amazon filed a new drone patent that describes a drone-powered towing system that will transport skiers and snowboarders around the mountain. Some folks are saying this is the end of the traditional ski lift as we know it.

Amazon explained in its patent filing that extreme skiers (or snowboarders) may use this technology to ‘reach a remote area or to customize their experience’. We assume this means venturing ‘off a designated run and for reaching fresh powder’.  

According to Amazon, users would be able to summon the drone to their location using their smartphone. The drone would also be able to detect and avoid obstacles in the travel path of a skier and/or tow line.

“For example, when a user is snow skiing in a mountainous area, a designated travel area may be determined that avoids cliffs or other dangerous areas,” the filing notes.

Beyond skiing, Amazon believes surfing and skating could benefit this type of drone-towing technology.

Take a gander (and maybe a small chuckle) at the patent’s artistic rendering below.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Image

It’s Been Done Before… Sort Of

This isn’t entirely a new concept. Casey Neistat, famous YouTuber and purveyor of homemade sunglasses, nearly broke the internet when he snowboarded using a human-sized drone in one of his most popular uploads of 2016.

Casey Neistat is obviously an experienced snowboarder and makes this kind of stunt look easy. But have you ever seen an inexperienced snowboarder ride a T-bar or a Poma lift? It can get ugly. Quick.

We Can Hear The Heart Palpitations Coming From Risk Management As We Type

We’re all for innovation, but based on the staunch limitations and policies in place regarding guests using drones for photography on and around ski resorts, we imagine the ‘custom experience’ Amazon is referring to would have to be far and away from in-boundary skiing and riding on ski resort property.

At this stage, there are a lot of unanswered specifics and questions. In fact, this patent filing doesn’t even guarantee that this skiing drone experience becomes a reality. But we’d be lying if we said we we weren’t excited at the thought of getting towed and possibly airlifted up a mountain using our own personal drone.

And we’re still holding out for Marty McFly’s hoverboard. Your move, Bezos.

READ MORE: Amazing Video of a Wingsuit Flight Through a Ski Resort