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Jeff Bezos promised drone deliveries by 2019 – but 3 things are missing

Five years ago, Jeff Bezos promised in a 60-minute interview that drones would deliver goods to our homes by 2019. After the new year, it is exciting to think about the delivery of drone packages could become reality in the US, as it already begins in other countries .

While hobbyists are already filling the air, consumers may wonder if we will soon see widespread services such as pizza deliveries. To make this reality possible, a few key pieces still have to fit together. They can be divided into three main areas: economy, regulation and technology.

Show me the money: Driving the economy

First of all, companies need to create an economic driver. This is a classic cost-benefit analysis where drone deliveries must either be cheaper than vehicle delivery or they have to be so comfortable that customers are willing to pay more for it.

Amazon, a pioneer in the development of drone delivery services, has made more than five billion deliveries to Prime customers in 201

7. Because of this number of deliveries, the company's shipping costs are around $ 20 billion for a year. Can companies like Amazon reduce costs and increase services? What about increasing safety, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, flying at noise-reduced altitudes and alleviating concerns about privacy? The answer is yes.

The shift will occur as consumer needs become more cost-effective. I imagine that this will happen in the next five to ten years as the number of consumers shopping online continues to rise and the demand for a fast delivery reaches an all-time high on the same day. Amazon and other retailers will reach a turning point that will lead to changes and innovations that are being implemented across the board.

The FAA-DOT partnership with the private sector: Establishment of a regulatory framework

At present, it is illegal to fly drones over people, at night or outside the line of sight of an operator (BVLOS) without the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waiver that's hard to come by. The reason for this is that safe routes such as highways for drones must be identified in order to create a safe airspace.

As a society, we've been prepared for a multi-bladed plane flying overhead to crash, albeit improbably. Therefore, the acceptance of drone flights will take place on a massive scale, if we trust that the infrastructure is in place to ensure public safety and openly, as we get used to it. And the key to getting there is regulation.

The airspace below 400 feet where most drones operate requires an airspace management system similar to that already available for commercial airlines and US highways. Brian Wynne of the Unmanned Vehicle Systems Association (AUVSI) emphasized his importance for the implementation of parcel delivery by drone.

"Progress in FH is growing rapidly and the positive impact of this innovation on our economy, our lifestyle and our society is enormous. However, to take full advantage of UAS, we need to ensure that our skies are safe. By allowing government agencies to reduce threats, they can act swiftly to stop them. Stricter enforcement against careless, reckless and other potentially malicious behavior will not only punish operators who abuse UAS technology, but also discourage others from doing so. " Wynne . This year, the FAA announced its selection of the UAS IPP – the pilot program for unmanned aircraft system integration. The program enables governments and private sector companies to look for ways to accelerate the secure integration of UAS and facilitate things such as parcel delivery and road passenger transport.

Progress is already being made here. Last October, North Carolina suggested DOT (a UAS IPP partner) "to test the provision of localized packages in a defined airspace by setting up drone delivery points in local communities." NC DOT and its partners have successfully completed several Deliver simulated medical packages from one source from hospital to another.

Basil Yap, head of the NCDOT's UCD program, said, "This & # 39; First Flight & # 39; is an important step in the world of healthcare and unmanned technology. We're crossing a new frontier that makes healthcare more efficient and cost-effective, and ultimately helps save lives for patients. "

Invest in the tech: creating a new frontier

The private and financial sectors need to continue investing in new technologies that enable drone delivery services. The UAS IPP is an excellent example of a public-private partnership required to move the industry forward and to consider long-term security and air traffic management.

Companies operating a drone fleet must have a clear and constant awareness of what's happening in the airspace below 400 feet. To this end, they must invest in airspace awareness systems that ensure the safety of people, and that routes or points of delivery are "free" from any obstruction.

Industry giants such as GE, Harris and Boeing willingly invest in advanced solutions to mitigate aviation problems. Fortem Technologies has developed an airspace awareness platform called the Fortem SkyDome ™, which uses advanced radar and AI systems to autonomously detect and classify airborne objects.

We are at Amazon Prime Air at the five-year mark and 2019 holds promising prospects for drone delivery. With the strong public-private partnership established with the UAS IPP and major advances in airspace security and security, we can identify the opportunities offered by the goods and services delivered by drones.

For companies, the cost-benefit value is strong; And for people who save time, such as delivering blood and medical supplies, the benefits are obvious. Consumers will also benefit as drone deliveries become more important – from time and cost savings in home-delivery delivery to lower car emissions and better air quality. And do not forget that a drone can deliver your pizza, rain or shine over hills and valleys in less than ideal conditions, and you still do not have to tip the driver.

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