The Coming of Age of Delivery Drones

In a previous article, Top 3 Things Drones Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic, we mentioned in passing about the big question of whether drone delivery services will be fully integrated in businesses, such as in retail.  

Now it seems we are seeing the coming of age of delivery drones — despite persistent doubts and concerns.

Take a look at the positive outlook given by some observers.

The way the world views drones is changing. Once a nuisance buzzing around our heads, drones are now life-saving tools in the battle against Covid-19.Instead of nuisance or novelty, drones are becoming necessary. Drones are shifting from a hyped-up super technology that can solve every challenge to a tool that can allow us to meet specific need. – Continue reading here.

Indeed. So, we have the pandemic crisis to thank for this.

From a research report and forecast by Research and Markets, a leading global market research store that says delivery services will grow in the next ten years:

According to this market intelligence report the drone delivery service market is expected to showcase a significant growth due to rising demand of instant- or same-day delivery globally, impending need for medical supply in remote areas, and contactless deliveries for hygienic purposes. Read more here:

Imagine the projected growth of revenue in this growing field of drone delivery — at a significant CAGR of 14.5% on the basis of value during the forecast period from 2023 to 2030.

Drones are becoming more and more part of the new normal, as noted by this following article.

The use of drones for functions such as public health monitoring or policing is at the concept stage, as public agencies look for new ideas in fighting the pandemic. Already we see many of these drone-use cases disregarded as impractical. On the other hand, outside of the public eye, the industrial adoption of drones has been on the rise. Read on here.

While the above views offer hope for mainstream delivery drones, others in the UK are just as hopeful yet pragmatic.

Holly Jamieson, head of future cities at Nesta Challenges, a charity supporting innovation, said the real-world use of drones would help prompt a public conversation on the use of the technology and its implications on personal privacy. “You have to remember that the coronavirus pandemic is a pretty exceptional event and the public are a lot more accepting about a lot of things we wouldn’t put up with in normal times. It could be the same with drones,” she said. – Read more here.

Public engagement, according to her, is the key – and rightly so. We cannot blame the public for having bad notions of drones given past incidents of rogue drone flying. So the best thing for experts and authorities alike to work on more is regulation and safety, as this next article points out.

Quoting Sebastian Babiarz , Director of Strategic Business Development for AirMap and Co-President of GUTMA, the Swiss-based NGO attempting to streamline global drone airspace traffic management, the article reports:

“Regulation,” Babiarz says bluntly, “It’s as simple as that. We won’t be able to fully reap the commercial and societal benefits of drones until they’re able to fly safely over people, beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS), and at night. Once that happens, advanced capabilities will enable complex drone operations and unlock the broader drone economy. But only if proper regulatory and airspace safety frameworks are in place. We’re getting there.”

As James Davis of The Droneologist stresses, “The pandemic has paved the way for civilian drones to prove their worthiness as modern heroes in times of crisis and great potential for mainstream delivery, but assurance is needed too that public safety and privacy remain a priority.”

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