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Drone deliveries are a win-win invention

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DHL drones in Germany on Sept. 24 are starting Germany’s first-ever drone package delivery service, a test program transporting medication to a pharmacy on a difficult to access North Sea island. Photo courtesy of Nikolai Wolff Fotoetage | AP

DHL drones in Germany on Sept. 24 are starting Germany’s first-ever drone package delivery service, a test program transporting medication to a pharmacy on a difficult to access North Sea island. Photo courtesy of Nikolai Wolff Fotoetage | AP

Despite a lack of regulatory rules or governmental oversight, companies such as Google, Amazon and DHL have prepared to test the plausibility of drone deliveries. Are these our future — flying machines filling the skies? Will the newest gadget replace people? There is no status quo for automated delivery systems, primarily due to the arbitrary barring of projected plans for aerial deliveries. According to The New York Times, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) intervened earlier this year when a local brewery in Minnesota sought to pilot test the feasibility of using aerial drones to transport beer to nearby ice fishermen. Although this may seem like a ridiculous example, the entrepreneurial drive to pursue this new delivery method is alive and well.  

Under what circumstances would governmental agencies in the United States sanction drone deliveries? In Germany, DHL used a drone to deliver medicine to an isolated German island. It’s a win-win scenario. The company offered faster and more efficient service and the consumer gained access to a vital commodity that might have otherwise been unavailable. In the United States, drone deliveries could potentially provide dire supplies such as food, water and medicine to rural communities with limited access.  The possibilities are endless. So, why not have drone deliveries?

Important questions must be answered to resolve the issue. Are they safe? Reliable?  What are the chances they will crash and burn, and, as a result, injure someone? In an interview with The Atlantic, the founder of Matternet, a company focused on creating a system of delivery drones, addressed some of these questions. Andreas Raptopoulos said, “We need to design these vehicles to make sure they don’t represent a public risk. If we’re able to do that, we’re ready for primetime.” Ensuring public safety means fewer lawsuits. The general public gets faster access to products and the company makes a profit. Another win-win scenario.

As with all new discoveries, inventions and ideas, there are positives and negatives. Whatever side you may fall on, it seems clear that drone deliveries are the next step in technology. Despite denouncements based on safety and privacy issues, drones are likely to become the status quo. When looking past current predicaments of reliability, there is no longer any reason to dismiss drones. It is a more efficient way to transport goods; it is a more practical approach for delivering supplies, medicine and other things to far off, isolated places. Drones are the future innovation, and represent a step forward in our technologically advanced world.

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Drone deliveries are a win-win invention