It’s been pretty quiet on the Drone Watch front in recent months. Amazon Air were grounded with red tape. Lakemaid were told to delivery their beer by normal means. Australia ummed and awed, trying to decide whether or not drones should be a thing.
Now, it’s looking like drones have a brighter future.
Amazon recently told Congress in America that they were ploughing ahead with the development of drone technology which promises deliveries in 30 minutes from the moment an order is placed. In response, the Federal Aviation Administration – the body in charge of everything that flies – told them they’d update their regulations to accommodate domestic drone deliveries within the year.
Maybe they ran out of red tape.
The introduction of drones could do a lot of ease the burden on the delivery sector, which was pushed almost to breaking point over the last Christmas season. Amazon’s vice president of global public policy – bit of a mouthful – Paul Misener had this to say:
“It could revolutionize the way people shop for items they need quickly. If a consumer wants a small item quickly, instead of driving to go shopping or causing delivery automobiles to come to her home or office, a small, electrically-powered (drone) vehicle will make the trip faster and more efficiently and cleanly.”
He’s right – the potential in drone-based deliveries is immense. Amazon Prime Air Drones are capable of lifting and delivering orders weighing less than 2.26kg and that covers the vast majority of Amazon’s sales. Around 86% according to CEO Jeff Bezos.
With Amazon seemingly committed to continuing to offer free delivery, these drones could offer the relief that the industry so desperately needs.
Go East, Where the Skies are Blue
Over in Germany, things are looking just as positive. Deutsche Post – the world’s largest courier company – have recently tested their very own drone delivery system.
Deutsche Post’s drones – which bear a striking resemblance to a certain Yellow Submarine – were used to deliver medicines to a remote island in the North Sea. The island in question – Juist – is only usually served by one ferry per day and very occasionally by a light aircraft.
If you head further east, the skies are veritably buzzing. The Swiss Post have just announced they are to begin a drone delivery trial in partnership with Swiss World Cargo and Matternet.
However, they say drones will only be used in exceptional cases or for the delivery of special items.
It’s a start at least.
In relation to a widespread commercial service, Swiss Post is taking a substantially more pragmatic view than Amazon, saying that a true drone-based service will take another five years after the legislation is revised.
And what’s the story at home? Well, Amazon has definitely talked to the Government about introducing a trial service. However, both sides are saying that a discussion is all it was. It remains to be seen whether the government will embrace or shirk away from new technology.
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