Drone Delivery will be the new normal soon. This post will discuss Drone Delivery, its pros and cons, ways in which Companies like amazon using drone delivery, how to become Drone Pilot and concerns over this Delivery service.
What is Drone Delivery
As we all know Drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operated remotely. Delivery Drones helps in transporting light weight packages, food, medical supplies, or other goods.
Fig. 1 – Introduction to Drone Delivery
The recent talks about approval for Drone Delivery to a few start-ups have made a lot of people think if Drone Delivery is the future of delivery. Especially in the last mile delivery options. A lot of tests and discussions have been going on ever since the first Drone Delivery was done in 2014. Workhorse Group which is a technology company is perfecting HorseFly which is a truck-based Drone Delivery system.
In the last seven years, this space has tremendously grown. Companies like Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon, Alibaba, UPS, and many others are working day in and day out to make this a reality soon. In fact Amazon drone delivery was in news recently for its effective response. A recent survey results, indicates that 89% of the population would like to use the service.
Fig. 2 – Public Survey Results
Why Drone Delivery
Let us look at a few reasons why Drones sound interesting for the future of delivery and why so many people are talking about it:
- Improved Efficiency
- Faster Delivery
- Quality Workforce
You ask anyone in the logistic field as to which is the most challenging stretch of a delivery route, most answers you would get is that it is the last-mile delivery. This is because it is a very tiresome and expensive process. Thus, using Drones for these last-mile deliveries has generated a lot of interest from many companies from across the globe. Amazon Drone Delivery is one such example.
It is an argument free statement that Drones will facilitate higher delivery turnover time. This is because air traffic is minimal in the range in which the Drones fly. Thus, deliveries can happen faster with Drones.
The kind of workforce that would be required to operate a fleet of Drones for delivery is very different from that required to handle a team of people for delivery. Skilled Drone Pilots are required for handling Drones.
Drones do not use any kind of fossil fuels to operate, decreasing air pollution. Thus, the use of Drones also has an environmental angle to it as well. This has in fact enabled a lot of companies to apply for exemption from regulations to fly Drones for Delivery. However, the regulations are still not very clear.
Pros and Cons of Drone Delivery
Fig. 3 – Advantages and Disadvantages of Drone Delivery
Applications of Drone Delivery
Now, that we have understood the advantages of using Drones for Delivery, we can now look at what kind of objects could be seamlessly delivered via Drones in the near future. Some of these are getting delivered as we speak.
1. Prescription Medicine
The requirement of Drones for Delivery in this segment is at a peak now. Post the pandemic scare, this might soon become an everyday thing as well. A lot of deliveries of medicines were done through Drones, during the lockdowns across the globe. This made governments and other stakeholders give more thought to making drones a reality in delivery!
Another segment that could majorly benefit from delivery through Drones would be the eCommerce segment. Here also, the major bottleneck is the delivery process. The faster it is made through Drones, the better for most of these companies. Thus, most major eCommerce companies have invested a lot in R&D for Drone Delivery themselves already!
3. Disaster Management
Deliveries during emergencies such as the pandemic, floods, earthquakes really become a challenge! But if Drones are used, the work becomes much better and simpler. Lesser human lives would be at risk during these situations when using Drones. Thus, indirectly Drones could also be considered as life savers!
Fig. 4 – Application of Drone Delivery
Defence segment extensively use Drones these days. Delivery Drones will only add to the already existing multifaceted uses of Drones. These Drone deliveries can be made to send and receive information and other essentials to those locations where human movement is very difficult. Also, the time required to send and receive these goods decreases drastically. We don’t have to stress the importance of time in the Defence segment!
5. Organ Transport
When done carefully, organ transport through Drones is one of the fastest ways to ensure that the organs reach those in need at the right time. By utilization of Drones, We can avoid delay in transport of the available organs and so can improve the operation success rate.
Do you want to be Drone Pilot/ Drone Operator
If Drone Deliveries “become a thing” or even at this stage of trials happening across the globe, there is a huge demand for Drone Pilots. If you are a Drone enthusiast, you should certainly develop your skill further and equip yourself better to operate and maintain Drones! Your days of being a Drone Pilot are very nearby! A few skills that a person who works with Drones should know; would be:
- Basic Aerodynamics
- Electronics Management
- Drone Flying Skills
Fig. 5 – Drone Pilot
Concerns over Drone Delivery
Let us also look at why the Regulatory Boards have concerns over delivery by Drone:
The first and foremost concern the regulatory boards are expressing is the safety of people, animals, and others in the surrounding of these Drones in motion. In case of a mishap, collateral damage should be minimal and this is something which is still under consideration.
- Easy Targets
The chances of Drones themselves becoming easy targets of miscreants and vandals are very high. This is another major reason for which the approvals have been very tough to obtain for many years.
We have already disturbed the adaptability of land and water animals. A lot of environmentalists are concerned about the possible effect of Drones on birds.
Drone Delivery operations is underway in more than 29 countries. Botswana became the first country in Southern Africa to begin the use of Medical Delivery Drones this month. Amazon Drone Delivery system is also nearing perfection. It is only a matter of time that we see Drones flying around delivering various objects! Drone Delivery is going to be a reality very soon.