It may seem a bit like science fiction, but home delivery by autonomous drones is closer than you think. Amazon has issued patents and has been actively testing the production viability of using drones for home delivery. In the not too distant future your pizza or pharmaceuticals may arrive by drone. Amazon’s proposed drone home delivery of small parcels, traveling up to 100 mph, will get packages to customers within 30 minutes. The company estimates it will cost on average only $0.05 per delivery, saving the company up to $50 million per year. Amazon is primarily focusing on pharmaceuticals, small non-perishable consumer goods, and food & beverages (non-refrigerated).
The idea of massive cost savings and significantly faster delivery times is something that both companies and consumers are eagerly wanting, but the reality of it being commonplace is delayed due to safety concerns, privacy, and regulation. Since a drone will cover a much larger and lower area of the sky over residential and/or commercial areas, if there is a mechanical failure and it falls out of the sky it could severely injure or potentially kill people. Privacy is perhaps one of the biggest debates, the question that lawmakers are asking is will homeowners be ok with a drone descending over their properties to deliver a package. Regulators have been particularly concerned with the usage of drones since they have become so common recreationally, such as enforcing restricted no-fly zones, ensuring users are able to maintain visual line of site of their airborne drones, and proper registration to comply with the FAA.
IoT Use Case
Use Case Using Augmate’s Connect platform may mitigate the concerns of both the general public and regulators by Connect’s ability to establish flexible, distributed, and immutable device policies. A provisioned drone in Connect can have a policy that will allow companies to certify that who operates the drones is qualified and can perform only permitted functions, such as fly zones, altitude, and speed. Using self-executing smart contracts on blockchain, all parties concerned with safety and regulation compliance will be able to share a common ledger of any potential violations, all with complete certainty that records will be tamper proof. As far as safety, Connect’s use of machine learning predictive analytics will be constantly monitoring the general health of the devices and will flag concerns before a disaster occurs. Another possible use case could be: After two years of testing, Airbus in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will start working with Singapore Post as a logistics partner. Singapore Post will start running trial deliveries of small packages to neighboring islands and ships. The trials will deliver marine products to ships such as spare parts and documents. It has been estimated that response time on turnarounds will be 6x faster and lower ship-to-shore delivery costs by 90%.