Written By: Alex Salkever
Posted: 08/13/13 10:36 AM
I am waiting for my first pizza bomb but the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration just won’t get out of the way. I read about it on the Internet – an enterprising Domino’s franchisee in the U.K. who was experimenting using a drone copter for delivery this summer. Alas, my wait in the U.S could be years if the FAA doesn’t get moving.
Despite a groundswell of interest in drones and numerous startups that plan to rely on drone flight, the FAA does not allow use of drones for commercial purposes. Worse still, the FAA has provided no clear roadmap for freeing the skies to allow small unmanned vehicles to fly. Oddly, recreational use of drones remains entirely unchecked.
So why are drones such a big deal? In our robotic future, anything that can reduce urban congestion, minimize carbon emissions, save money and save trips to the emergency room (car accidents kill, you know) will drive huge value in the economy and make our lives better, to boot.
Pizza is just the start. Drones are perfect delivery vehicles for just about anything that fit in a small box or a shopping bag. Interestingly, this describes perfectly what a host of startups are attempting to do right now with people’s cars (TaskRabbit), bike messengers (PostMate), and local delivery vehicles (InstantCart, AmazonFresh). Drones are better than any of those options for a significant portion of delivery orders.