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Bill Gates supports Amazon drone delivery, but says Jeff Bezos may be 'overly optimistic'

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates

Jeff Bezos faces many challenges in making Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery a reality, but he's got one notable supporter: Bill Gates. Speaking on CNN's The Lead, Gates voiced strong support for using drones as a means of delivery. But he's not quite as confident it will come as quickly as Bezos and Amazon would like. "Physical products delivered by drone, I'd say he's probably on the optimistic or perhaps even the overly optimistic end of that," Gates said. "It's great that people have dreams like that." During an appearance on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Bezos suggested that commercial drone delivery could be only four or five years away.

But beyond delivering your Amazon orders, Gates said Bezos' ambitious plan could help make drones a viable solution for many health-related missions — a subject near and dear to the Microsoft chairman's heart. "If we can make the cost of delivery easier, then it's not just books," Gates said. "It's getting health supplies out to people in tough places. Drones overall will be more impactful than I think people recognize in positive ways to help society." Even as his idea is met with criticism and parody, Gates insists Bezos shouldn't give up. "Tech pioneers dream big dreams, and I think he's allowed to have a vision there. It would be great if we could come anywhere close to that for a lot of products."