The Future of Drones: 5 Ways Drones Will Be Used in the Coming Years
Drones are the future. At least, they were 5-10 years ago. Now, drones are the present, and they even have a short past. And the future?
We aren’t fortune tellers, but it’s safe to say that as drone technology improves and creative people find new uses for it, things are only going to get more interesting. Drones, it seems, are still the future.
While it’s difficult to project too far into the future, there are clear trends in the industry that have set the stage for drone usage to rise dramatically in these 5 areas:
Delivering packages It’s been talked about for years, but it appears that drone deliveries could become a regular consumer experience within the next few years. Why? Driven by the potential to cutback on last-mile delivery costs while offering quicker service, big tech companies have finally spurred regulators into action. Amazon plans to begin drone deliveries in California and Texas by the end of 2023 and Alphabet’s Wing drones has already delivered more than 200,000 FedEx and Walgreens packages. Walmart is another big player in the field and Dominos wants to fly warm pizzas directly to your front door.
Increasing Internet access Not everyone can fire up a web browser and find priceless pieces of information like this article, but drones are about to help provide Internet access in rural areas. One Wisconsin startup has already started using tethered drones to provide internet access to students without it. How? Just attach a drone to a cellphone tower and let it fly where connection is otherwise poor or non-existent. This strategy also comes with a welcome degree of flexibility, since drones can easily be moved to meet evolving needs.
Humanitarian aid Drones aren’t only useful for commercial purposes; they can also help save lives. In fact, almost all of the commercial uses for drones can be repurposed to serve humanitarian needs, and will likely play a significant role in disaster response moving forward. Drones can quickly gather data that’s crucial to organizing an efficient response; they can deliver life-saving supplies and materials (like COVID vaccines) when roads are inaccessible; they can survey wreckage and rubble to look for signs of life; and they can give rescuers a bird’s eye view to help coordinate relief efforts. In theory, an effective drone program could even deliver blood directly to the scene of a car accident, giving paramedics a way to save more lives.
Global warming As humanity tackles one of its biggest challenges, drone technology is going to be indispensable. Drone deliveries (see #1) dramatically reduce emissions from delivery vehicles. Plus, they can be used to plant trees, measure deforestation rates and gather important climate data to inform our actions moving forward. Last, but not least, drone footage of our impact on wildlife and the environment may prove to be an invaluable tool in encouraging people to take action.
Traffic studies Traffic may sound like the least exciting topic on this list, but put it together with drone technology and you’ve got a potent recipe for positively impacting the lives of millions. Drones hovering over important sections of road (think intersections) have a wider range of data collection than their ground-based alternatives, and can gather astonishingly specific and useful data, from where to place crosswalks for maximum safety to identifying where potholes are most likely to appear based on road wear and how best to improve the flow of traffic prevent accidents.This application for drones is still in its infancy, but it’s already a routine service offered at EAP, and we’ve seen the amazing things drone traffic studies can do!
People used to predict that we would have flying cars by the 2020s. We may not be there yet, but we do have drones and in the next 5-10 years, their numbers and applications will continue to multiply.
If you are ready to be a part of this drone-filled future, contact us and let us know what project you need tackled.