It comes to no one’s surprise that shipping times have dropped dramatically as new advents in technology came along through the years. Instead of months, packages could appear at your door in a matter of weeks once automobiles became the norm. Overnight airmail helped slash the timeframe into days. Now drones could turn those days into hours, perhaps even minutes.
While the demand from the consumer drone market hasn’t been as high as some forecasters have expected – the commercial market remains strong. But don’t think delivery drones will appear in a wide-spread capacity in the near future. While the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) relaxed some of its drone regulations to help with Amazon’s Cambridge tests, concerns and limitations remain abundant. For these tests’ purposes, regulations with regards to operation of a drone without a direct line of sight and uses of anti-collision technology gained a little leeway. The CAA considered it a way to help foster a spirit of co-operation and forward thinking for the future of business. That said, no hard and fast regulations exist at this time that govern the commercial uses of drones, especially for delivery purposes.
Concerns and questions still remain over the current battery life spans of drones, as well as the accuracy of their GPS devices and unit security, both on the ground and in the air. While no answers for these questions exist yet, Amazon’s trial runs proved successful enough for the company to expand its R&D facilities. The Cambridge offices will grow to house approximately 400 employees to help foster the growth of Amazon Prime Air.
As it stands now, several industries already consider them a valuable resource. The top five industries included:
- Media 63%
- Facility management 39%
- Oil and utilities 34%
- Agriculture 18%
- Construction 17%
Emergency service providers now include drones in search operation, for much the same reason that construction firms will perform inspections via drone. These machines can travel over areas human beings cannot easily or safely reach and offer unexplored angles to observe. The data provided by these machines can prove invaluable to maintenance of city roadways and bridges, but also offer great opportunities for surveys. Imagine if, during your bid proposal, you could offer overhead footage of a recent job well-done. You could provide safety statistics that demonstrated how you could quickly and with greatly reduced hazard to humanity patrol your job site.