In the early Twentieth Century, drones were created as items for military target practice. Today, we use drones for much more. Though drones are still primarily used in combat, their popularity has soared recently with the development of private drone production in the United States.
Similar to Artificial Intelligence, the drone craze is causing an equal amount of controversy. As more drones begin to populate the skies, commercial jets and helicopters are struggling to share the space. The FAA recently released a study stating that there were 583 separate drone incidents from August 2015 to January 2016 (FAA Updated UAS Sighting Reports).
But what does this mean for the business world?
Many companies are seizing this new technology to take us into the next generation of the free market.
Let’s look at Amazon Prime Air for example:
It may seem like science fiction at first glance but it’s entirely real and will be coming to select areas across America starting in January 2018. Here are the basics: you order a package (under 5 pounds) on Amazon Prime Air. Let’s assume you have already received your Amazon Prime Air helipad and are not too far from an Amazon distribution center; after all, these drones run on battery power and can currently only go so far. You pay for your purchase and within 30 minutes, a drone will come to your location, drop off your package and be on its way.
All you have to do is make sure your landing pad is in a clear and visible location. The landing pad is a relatively small, Amazon branded, square mat that can be moved whenever it’s not in use. Amazon suggests putting your pad in a garden or backyard. Click here to watch a video of the first ever drone delivery on December 7, 2016.
But don’t expect these deliveries to be happening anytime soon. Amazon is still in the process of developing new regulations. These delivery drones can fly up to 400 ft, so although these drones don’t fly as high as planes and helicopters, they may cause disturbances to low-flying birds. Amazon is currently developing a “sense and avoid” technology in order to avoid these pigeon collisions.
Amazon is not the only company to take on this goliath of new business technology. UPS is also testing a similar delivery system, Microsoft is developing a simulator software to help drone pilots navigate and avoid dangerous obstacles, and in the city of Dubai they are testing a human carrying drone which has the ability to carry 220 pounds for 30 minutes.
Before you know it, these delivery drones will be coming right to the doorstep. And when you see one floating down the street, you’ll undoubtedly think “Oh please let it be for me.”
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