Google has unveiled some details about its drone delivery program, which it is testing in Australia. The project called Project Wing and has been in the works for two years. Amazon has also been testing the use of drones for delivery of items to its customers. Media will have us believe “game on!”
Futurists will paint visions of a sky filled with drones dropping off everything from Pizza to a large screen TV sets.
Before either of the above can be pondered keep in mind the FAA has a ban on flying devices which may be used for commercial purposes and having them overturn their stance will be a battle in itself.
Meanwhile, it’s Google vs Amazon as each side will now begin releasing YouTube Videos of the progress they are making and selling the public on the virtues of this new rapid delivery system. They will show us how first aid kits can be delivered to remote locations. They will show us victims of disasters receiving pinpointed relief. They will convince us these drones can serve the greater good. While those missions are noble and certainly worthy, they will raise nearly enough money to pay for the cost of developing and maintain a fleet of drones. Drones will need to be monetized. To become financially sustainable, they will need to be used commercially.
While all the focus is currently on the many great benefits of drone delivery systems, one must also consider the potential downsides. In the wrong hands these devices could be employed for theft, subversive surveillance and worse, another tool for terrorists.
The real drone war will not be between Google and Amazon but between the moral conscience which will ask how important is it to ramp up the delivery of items at the risk of making all property more vulnerable to theft and making this country’s infrastructure more vulnerable to terrorists.
Its Labor Day weekend. Americans use this day to celebrate the achievements of the American worker, the backbone of the progress this country has made. While we all strive to make life better, have cures and solutions faster, we all need to give equal weight in considering our safety and I trust this concern will be heard above the noise of the drone.
Wishing a wonderful Labor day weekend to all.