Idea Of Delivery Drones

Ideas that our parents only thought could happen in an episode of “The Jetsons are rapidly becoming a reality in today’s world.  Many never thought that a human mail carrier could or would be replaced by a drone, but this innovative idea is becoming more and more popular every day.  When an ever changing society changes at such a rapid pace, it becomes rather difficult for companies like Federal Express and United States Postal Service to keep up with the high demand.  To keep up with such a high demand in both volume and speed, Amazon has introduced delivery drones.  Drones are remotely controlled aircraft.  Before the idea was made popular by Amazon, they were mostly associated with the military.  Companies like Amazon and Google are leading the way in the testing of using drones to deliver packages.  I believe that drone delivery would be an efficient solution to transportation and logistic issues that currently exist.  “We have got to create a path forward for the safe integration of drones if our country is to remain a global aviation leader and reap the safety and economic benefits drones have to offer” Chao said (Elfin, October. 2018).  Chao, transportation secretary, announced earlier this year that there are ten partnerships becoming a part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s unmanned aircraft systems.  Drones are one of the latest and most controversial topics that have risen over the past five to ten years.  The controversy is whether or not drones should be used as a means of war, surveillance, and delivery systems.  Common misconceptions usually lead to people’s opposition to the use of drones; which is the reason it is important for people to know the facts about how and why they are used.  Although there is the potential for the violation of privacy, the convenience and ease of mail delivery far outweigh the negatives of drones used for mail delivery.

Using drones can ensure faster deliveries at a fraction of the cost.  Companies like Amazon make billions of deliveries to their customers every year.  Shipping costs average at about 20 billion dollars on those deliveries and using drones could drastically lower those shipping costs. Cheaper, faster shipping costs can mean a significant rise in revenues, as a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, a management group, found that 86% of online carts that are abandoned are a result of expensive shipping costs.  Drone delivery certainly looks like our future eliminating both wait times and the cost of human labor.  While on demand delivery is rapidly becoming the norm as opposed to the exception, retailers are shuffling to find air delivery solutions.   Amazon has a consistent flood of new patents such as flying warehouses, with Wal-Mart not far behind (Forbes, 2018).

On December 1, 2013, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, told a 60 minutes reporter, “I know the use of drones seems like science fiction, but it is not.  In areas near Amazon warehouses, two hour shipping to locations such as Dallas has been established for an additional fee.  Amazon also ships produce in cities such as Philadelphia and Seattle.  Even with these developments, Bezos is still determined to make the wait time for orders even shorter.

The marketable use of drones has exploded in the past few years and without a doubt on a path to continue.  The risks and challenges are evident in security of our everyday lives. A big issue is data theft.  Drones are accessible to hackers that can get our personal data.  Potential hackers use drones for malicious acts.   Another threat is potential collisions with aircraft.  Because of all the materials they are made of and the acceleration at which they can move, it has the potential to take down a passenger plane.  There are not enough trained operators to fly drones.  The FAA has to certify an operator to fly a commercial drone.  This is a big problem because people have the tendency to just go out and purchase one and think they can fly it without any confrontations.  The issue of drone use is new, the issue of Amazon drones is newer, but the issue of protecting American’s privacy is as old as the country itself.

One of the issues connected to drone deliveries is how they can steer clear of collisions. If drones are used to deliver mail and other packages, then they must be able to travel long distances without crashing into other objects.  There are two main technologies available for drones to detect nearby objects, radar and lidar. Radar sends out radio waves and measures their reflections from obstacles. It is still used as the primary system for air traffic controllers. Lidar uses laser beams instead of radio waves and is capable of providing very detailed images of obstacles nearby. The downside of using radar and lidar systems is the fact that they are heavy and expensive. So, development is being done on small, lower-cost radar and lidar sensor devices. Once these sensors are perfected, they can solve the “detect-and-avoid problem.

The marketable use of drones has exploded in the past few years and without a doubt on a path to continue.  The risks and challenges are evident in security of our everyday lives. A big issue is data theft.  Drones are accessible to hackers that can get our personal data.  Potential hackers use drones for malicious acts.   Another threat is potential collisions with aircraft.  Because of all the materials they are made of and the acceleration at which they can move, it has the potential to take down a passenger plane.  There are not enough trained operators to fly drones.  The FAA has to certify an operator to fly a commercial drone.  This is a big problem because people have the tendency to just go out and purchase one and think they can fly it without any confrontations.  The issue of drone use is new, the issue of Amazon drones is newer, but the issue of protecting American’s privacy is as old as the country itself.

The results show that the determinants of drone delivery adoption differ according to the customer’s residence.  These observed results show that an online shopping system using drone delivery is one of the most environmentally friendly transportation options throughout a wide range of scenarios.

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