There seems to be kids flying drones everywhere but could this become commercial? Although we might still be a few years away from having flying cars and skateboards like in the Back to the Future movies, the days when our shopping goods will be delivered from the mall to our houses be little flying robots might not be that for off. It might sound like science fiction, but major businesses are looking into drone technology to turn this idea into science fact.
Back in the early 90s, business insiders knew that the internet was destined to become a big part of the commercial goods industry, but now in 2018 its clear that the internet is the industry, with good bought online far outweighing those bought in stores. The big issue with internet shopping is delivery, with around 70% of consumers reporting some form of delivery problem in 2017, most commonly late, lost or damaged parcels. In order to counter this and make delivery fast and more efficient, big retailers are looking to drone delivery as the answer, especially in big cities where traffic congestion presents difficulties. Amazon itself is even envisaging having a drone delivery hive in every city in the future, and a fleet of drone delivery service robots to drop of the goods to every household. So the time when a flying R2D2 or BB8 might deliver the latest kids gadget or toy might be closer than you think.
Drones and Shopping Malls
But it’s not just the online retailers that are investing in this space age technology. Shopping mall designers and architects are trying to protect the bricks and motor establishments from going out of business completely by turning good old faithful malls into drone ports. With Drone parcel services, malls should be able to compete with online sellers, or at least, that’s what they are hoping for.
The idea is to turn these malls into giant warehouses with facilities for massive numbers of drones to take off an land. Just look at the amazing concept art below; it looks like something from a Steven Spielberg movie!
The Future is Still Unclear
While the prospect of having drones deliver all our good is indeed a thrilling one, it might still be a while before it really takes off (pun intended). While companies such as Amazon and Google are testing drone delivery technology as we speak, there’s still a lot of things that need to be sorted out long before delivery drones are a part of everyday life. How safe are they? How will they be protected against thieves? What happens if a fully loaded drone has a malfunction and crashes? Most of all, it is going to take a lot of effort to convince our governments that drone technology is not going to cause more problems than it solves, as two recent cases in the UK showed when hobby drones almost caused major aircraft accidents. We can’t have innovation without regulation, while we are all for drone delivery, we’ll need to be convinced that it is 100% safe before we sign off on it.