Amazon shares opened higher in the US Thursday, despite news the tech giant has not been selected as one of the private sector firms to support the US drone programme. However, Jeff Bezos’ business has announced it will open new experience centres, where customers can test out smart home Alexa devices.
By 1450 BST, Amazon shares were 0.22% higher at $1,611.54. The stock has been on a broadly upward trend in the past four weeks.
Drone programme no-go
While Amazon, Uber, Microsoft and Airbus are all forming part of the US Transportation Department’s next drone programme phase, Amazon has not been selected by the Government to take part.
The programme has been created to help the US government assess how they can regulate drones and also allow them to safely utilise US airspace.
There were 149 bids from across the US from regions and companies willing to take part in the drone testing.
However, while Amazon has missed out on in this early phase, Elaine Chao, US Transportation Secretary said there could be dozens more similar projects approved over the coming months.
Amazon’s experience centres
Shortly before that news was made public, Amazon announced its plans to open new Amazon Experience Centres in a number of US cities.
Customers will be able to gain a real perspective of exactly how Amazon’s range of Smart Home Alexa devices could work for them.
“We wanted customers to experience a real home environment that showcases the convenience of the Alexa smart home experience, great entertainment available with Prime, and Home Services,” said Nish Lathia, general manager, Amazon Services.
“We are excited to extend our relationship with Lennar with the launch of Amazon Experience Centers,” Lathia added.
The Amazon Experience Centres will be available in US homebuilder store Lenmar’s facilities, in cities including Seattle, Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles.