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Is 2017 The Year Drones Deliver Christmas?
In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos promised us drone deliveries. This glimpse of the utopian world we had seen many times on the big screen came as a shock. The idea of drone deliveries, although not a foreign one, was one certainly thought to be far away. However, as innovation is usually received in its evergreen form, it predictably set the world alight.
News outlets ran with the story like it was solid gold: ‘The future’s here!’, ‘Order before lunchtime, delivered after!’, ‘Is your dog going to bark at your new delivery DRONE!?’. Due to this initial well-received praise, the sceptics came out in force. Many questioned how close we were to this at all; especially considering, the US – supposedly the home of this innovation – had countless air laws penalising the use of drones.
It was argued that, although technologically not a far cry, at all, logistically we were still very far from drone deliveries. People suspected Amazon had led the discourse simply for marketing reasons. As stated earlier, the news outlets treated it as solid gold and mentioned Amazon each time the story was brought up.
We found the innovation and vision awfully exciting; as we would, it’s the industry we’re in. The truth, on the other hand, we found profoundly depressing. A weird world where technological developments are stifled by bureaucracy to such an extent.
However, it’s 2017 now, times have changed. Which leads us to ask:
Is 2017 the year drones deliver Christmas?
In 2015, drone deliveries caught the eye of drone-advocates, nostalgic adults who wanted the world they saw in their childhood films, and wandering eye of the easily amused (and distracted) public. It was easy to see that the concept wasn’t particularly close because financial sectors demonstrated no interest whatsoever.
Drone deliveries, if viable, would presumably be a fruitful commodity. So, if the industry were really so close to widespread use, it’s a given that hedge fund managers would have their claw in every startup possible. They didn’t in 2015.
They do now.
Venture capitalists – those who invest in startups – have turned a keen eye towards the industry. Their investments have eclipsed the seven-figure mark. Which paints a prosperous picture for drone deliveries.
Amazon have patented a ‘beehive’ building for drones to enter and leave throughout the delivering process. This building (below) certainly makes us feel closer to the utopian life we until now only saw on the big screen.
They’ve even begun developing the idea of an airborne depot centre. This would act as a home for their trusty drones and would also hold Amazon’s stock.
With these enablers of drone delivery being drafted and patented, one would think drone deliveries are very close.
Why are Amazon so determined to revolutionize our antiquated mode of delivery? The elimination of labour, of course.
If drone delivery excels to the limits that they envision, the delivery man would no longer be needed, nor would the delivery truck. That’s a lot of manpower gone and a lot of money saved – all whilst technologically developing the world we live in. Which is a win-win.
That is if we see jobs being deemed redundant good, that is. Which is a different argument for different day.
Amazon’s Drones Deliver Test Run
Amazon have actually executed some drone deliveries already. Which on-paper, promotes obvious promise; it elevates drone delivery from the hypothetical to the tangible. But with this elevation, it also puts drone delivery on a pedestal of criticism. When approached with intense scrutiny, these executed deliveries only encourage more scepticism.
One of the deliveries took place here in England. The buyer had his item – conveniently an Amazon Fire stick – within 20 minutes of ordering. He did have to live close-by, however. He also had to have a large enough garden for the drone to avoid collisions. His package had to weigh less than 2.6kg too. Oh, and they were only allowed to do it as they had special permissions from the correct authorities.
We don’t intend to mock, as Amazon are pioneering, which is never something that should be mocked. However, with such specific stipulations, it appears we’re quite a distance from drone deliveries – we’re especially far from them being as common as delivery trucks like Amazon claim.
It doesn’t look like you’ll be getting your 2017 Christmas gifts delivered by your local drone. However, the idea has impetus. With the strides that we’re witnessing, it does appear like it’ll be soon. Some are predicting 2020 as the year you’ll be able to order your items at 9:20 PM on Christmas Eve.
Bird’s Eye View Productions – London Drone Filming
Drones can do many things, delivering Christmas presents will soon be one of them.
If you have any questions about the use of drones, we’d love to talk to you about it, we’re drone enthusiasts! Learn more about our aerial filming services or give us a call on 0207 060 1244 or use our online contact form!
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