What the future has for drones

Drones
Picture: Pexels, Pixabay

When we talk about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or simply drones, we associate them mostly with toys soaring through the sky in search of ideal urban or rural views to film and post them on Instagram. However, entrepreneurs and big commercial monopolists have taken a closer look at these machines and figured out that there might be the more excellent use of them.

Something you should know about drones

To begin with, it is necessary to mention that drones have come to us, not with the purpose of watering crops or functioning as remotely controlled observation cameras. Their initial use was military-based and dealt with spying, intelligence, tracking, landmines search and demining. These functions have enforced drones to be highly durable and agile.

Second of all, they are useful to move and manipulate objects from 7 (15 lbs) up to 15 kilograms (30 lbs) and can lift them in the air for about 4 kilometers (2 miles). These characteristics vary and change from model to model, but at least we have an overview of what to expect.

Third of all, they have the specialized equipment with devices that facilitate their work and guarantee their durabilities, like monitoring cameras, GPS navigator, self-monitoring, and self-diagnostic Bluetooth adaptors click here to learn more.

The Amazon experiment

There have been various tries to exploit drones, including the one with pizza delivery by Domino’s Pizza. However, pizza is not the most valuable product of them all, is it? Therefore, Amazon, one of the most influential electronic commercial retailers in the world, has launched beta testing of their so-called Prime Air in 2013, which basically means, aircraft delivery, and is undoubtedly a cornerstone of this technology use.

Lots of companies have pretty ambitious plans for implementation of the program. Huge firms build strategies for future usage of this breakthrough technology. The question is in the choice of the drone type to serve in the required mission.

Amazon promises to launch full-blown drone packages delivery. Right now this service is available only for its Prime Air development centers in the US, UK, Austria, France, and Israel but experts are eager to expand it to other international Amazon centers. It is vital to state that such deliveries will have durance of approximately 30 minutes, or even less, depending on the location of a customer.

So far, the aircraft is able to carry parcels up to 3 kilograms (5 lbs), but with the time, to the highest expectations of the commercial giant, packages’ haul weight will, more likely, account for a regular hauling extent.

When it comes to security and safety of the hauled, they indicate as the initial and only priority, in order to deliver ordered items safe and sound. It is true that drones have the equipment of ‘sense and avoid’ advancement. It implies that carriers have partial AI (Artificial Intelligence) and can cope with situations of probable collision with other aircraft.

Having read all the information stated above one may come to a conclusion that the implementation of drones for delivery is a remarkable step forward. It provides customers and big enterprises with significant opportunities. It’s hands-down true, notwithstanding, as in any invention, there are both favorable outcomes and pitiful drawbacks.

Drones
Picture: Pexels, David McBee

Let us begin with pros

To start with, use of this means of hauling accelerates time and convenience of delivery. Since those flying couriers are unmanned remotely controlled robotics which, mostly, take airways as their route, there is a very little chance of traffic jams. Moreover, people will be able to determine their purpose and destination beforehand. Therefore, customers are always aware of the most accurate time and location of delivery; more importantly, there is no need to wait for your postman to bring a package to you.

Second of all, door-to-door delivery pays back well not only for customers but also for companies by building up a trust to such, and confidence of parties since the chance of having a package lost, or signed for by your jealous neighbor is minimized.

Another thing testifying that aircraft use for delivery is also a perfect idea for gigantic retail stores like Amazon, UPS or FedEx, is that they spend millions of dollars on shipping and hauling loads, whereas it can be halved by such. Sources say that annually in average Amazon spends $5.75 per shipment even with their Prime Shipment Membership, whereas use of drones and aircraft will cost less than one dollar per package.

Finally, investing resources in flying couriers will undoubtedly have the most favorable results for the technology itself. Relying on ‘air routes’ entrepreneurs will be reaching out for the best quality hauling enhancements which will lead to a huge flow of money used for new and more advanced technical improvements for the drone technology.

However, we are all well aware of the fact that any radical change, which aircraft use for hauling is, demands sacrifices in other aspects.

Now to the con’s

The most painful of the disadvantages is job loss. Yes, this is an inevitable outcome if we want to have drones to deliver goods and items to our doorstep. Many people working in delivery and storage employees might lose their jobs due to automation of labor, just like during the Industrial Revolution, since there won’t be any need in them anyone.

Another quite negative aspect of using UAVs as a means of delivery is a violation of privacy. In order to conduct safe and successful navigation and landing, drones have to use GPS and surveillance cameras in addition to their inbuilt cameras so they can find one’s house and accomplish their task successfully. This may result in filming, recording or simply topographical authentication of your property and registration of identity.

What does the future hold for delivery drones?

You should expect a drone to deliver something on your house’s porch one day. However, this won’t happen that easily since there are quite a few complications following.

Most of them are because of the privacy policy of customers who are not willing to give in their personal information that might be significant for drones’ accuracy in navigation. According to a survey, more than 60% of Internet retail customers in the United States are against revealing their personal information, since they know the correlation between the identity theft and fraud. Only less than 40% are ready to provide big companies with their data.

Another issue that deters the full-blown development of drone logistics is aircraft regulations which did not take into consideration drones as a party for some time. Recently they have included them with serious restraints and limitations. One of which prohibits using flying machinery without the pilot being able to see the drone. However, they mention it should all change after 2021 since a set of new regulations are under development. Designers suppose to adopt drone delivery as an ordinary means of air hauling transportation.

Notwithstanding, it’s not only about privacy or laws, since the technology requires some improvements itself. There have been occasions when drones underwent major technical issues and malfunctions. We don’t want a drone to land on your pretty garden, do we?

In brief, it is vital not to underestimate that drones delivering packages to your doorstep is not science fiction anymore – it’s the future to which we are reaching out to. It is closer than we can imagine. Per contra, the question we should ask ourselves is, whether we are ready to pay the price for the dreamt future to become our routine present.