Drone technology, the future of logistics?
There’s no denying that over the last couple of years drone technology has gained huge momentum with the futuristic ideology of robots completing everyday tasks becoming an exciting reality. Military drones have been in development ever since the early 1900’s however only recently have the modern, smaller drones become available for the public, businesses and everyone in-between.
Tech giants from all around the world such as Parrot, Google and GoPro are investing vast amounts of money on developing drone technology, but why?
Logistics is just one of many industries looking at how drones could benefit it with big companies such as DHL and Amazon announcing plans to hopefully use this technology to deliver parcels in the near future. Amazon have revealed the ‘Amazon Prime Air’, hoping to drop packages weighing less than 5lbs at customer’s doors in half an hour through its Prime Air service and DHL has already successfully delivered goods to a pharmaceutical company based on an Island in Germany using its ‘Parcelcopter’, but could this be done efficiently in the UK?
There are many obstacles that are currently in the way of using drones for commercial use, a few examples of these issues are:
Flying regulations – As with nearly all fun flying objects (model planes, RC helicopters, gliders etc) there are rules and regulation in regards to where they can and can’t be flown, drones are of no exception. This could potentially creates problems for companies looking to use them for deliveries, for example flying a drone near an airport can land you up to 5 years in prison, so what happens to the customers living near/in restricted airspace waiting for a drone-dropped delivery?
Safety issues – Having hundreds of flying objects zipping around the sky, dipping and diving to drop parcels to awaiting customers must create some sort of safety hazard right? It’s only a matter of time before someone gets hit by one or one runs out of battery mid flight and falls out of the air causing some sort of injury.
Invasion of privacy – In order for the people flying the drones to see where they are going the drones need to be fitted with cameras. At the moment in the UK a drone fitted with a camera cannot be flown within 50 metres of people, vehicles, buildings or structures due to privacy issues so unless these laws change in the near future it will be extremely difficult to actually deliver goods directly to customer’s homes.
Do you think drone technology is the future of logistics or will they never be able to replace our trusty drivers?