In 2014, Jeff Bezos announced to the world that Amazon would be using drones to deliver packages across the nation by 2019. It was a revolutionary announcement for the then-small UAV service industry, and it quickly put remote aerial tech on the map as companies and consumers alike wondered how the world of delivery was soon to change forever.
But it’s 2020 now, and Amazon drone deliveries have hit some unfortunate snags. And they’re not the only ones. The problem with drone deliveries has always been the risk to the consumer. It’s easy to not get hit by a UPS truck while watering your flowers, but if a drone is a few feet off of its desired landing space, you could end up with some serious injuries. Add in risks to drivers, property, and the products themselves, and you have something of a technological nightmare on your hands.
Some countries tried to ignore the risk and push forward, but the FAA in America is a (reasonably) skittish sort, and in the past, they haven’t easily allowed any new drone advancements without proven safety measures active and online.
But let’s take a look at the positives of drone delivery.
Drone advancements have come a long way in six years, and nations outside of the US have been quicker to set up life-saving systems with the speed and efficiency of drone delivery.
In Rwanda, emergency blood packs were flown in with drones to where they were needed within minutes, not hours. In Australia, medications are being flown via drone to those unable to leave their homes or care facilities. And in Finland, drones fly food packages to those whose homes are cut off from society in the midst of brutal winter weather conditions.
So, is it time for the US to start taking drone deliveries seriously? According to the FAA, the answer is yes. In fact, in September of last year, UPS obtained official certification to deliver packages using drone-based-flight, and Amazon isn’t far behind. In fact at Green Tech Conference 2019, Amazon Prime Air VP Gur Kimchi called the future of drone delivery the most scalable and environmentally friendly delivery alternative available on the market.
The drone delivery dream may have taken a few more steps than usual to find its feet, but with UPS certified and Amazon prepped to follow, the future of aerial packages and smart travel has only just begun.