28th April 2020

12-month recap: Commercial Drone Use

Summary

Next up in our #MinistryOfTechnocracy mini-series blog, we take a look at how much commercial drone use has been developed in the last 12 months. Amid COVID-19, the demand for contactless deliveries has surged, but when will they become commonplace?

Commercial drone use has been talked about a lot in the past few years. As consumers, our expectations are at an all-time high and we have become accustomed to instant gratification - particularly when it comes to delivery timescales. But just how far has commercial drone use come in the past 12 months?

Greg Nott Head of Managed Services

Commercial Drone Use

Drones are becoming big business. As prices drop and technology improves, an increasing number of consumers are able to take to the skies themselves. But what about drones being used for commercial purposes? A lot has been said about drone deliveries by the likes of Amazon and Google for example, but we still don’t have them…yet.

Cast your mind back 12 months and drones were hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Drones being flown into airport airspaces around Britain caused all sorts of travel chaos. What followed were more restrictive laws around when and where you could (or could not) fly a drone. A year down the line and we aren’t much further on, however, since we are currently living in lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19, there has never been so much demand for contactless deliveries.

As such, recent reports in the UK state that drones are to be trialled to deliver vital medicines and health equipment during lockdown. The multi-million pound scheme was originally in place to transform delivery services for future generations however, the plan has been brought forward to form part of the the government’s response to COVID-19. As of today, St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight will receive deliveries by drone.

Other reports have suggested that shipping giant UPS are partnering with German company Wingcopter to develop drones that could deliver packages autonomously to paying customers.

Consider the restrictions we currently have; how much different would it be if commercial drone deliveries were commonplace now? It would be much easier for supermarkets to facilitate food deliveries than it is with a limited number of delivery drivers and vans. A lot is going to change over the coming months and years, maybe we will be seeing more and more drones buzzing around as well!

Next Up: Technology Vs. Pollution…

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