Without planning, drones represent a flying traffic nightmare
If drone delivery finally takes off, how long will it be before the first package is delayed due to congestion?
That is one of the issues drone manufacturers are trying to solve for right now, before it becomes a nightmare scenario. Israel has undertaken a two-year pilot to develop integrated communications systems to coordinate dozens of drones flying at the same time in small areas.
“This is an opportunity for the regulators to learn what is needed to establish delivery drones as a daily reality and for the drone operators to learn what is expected of them in turn,” Hagit Lidor of the Israel Innovation Authority, one of several state agencies involved in the test, told Reuters.
The problem Israel authorities are trying to solve is not unique to that country, and it’s only one part of the overall problem – cost is also a big consideration for the potential success of drone delivery. UrbanFootprint, an “urban intelligence platform” that collects data and helps companies and local authorities map urban transformation, is attempting to put its collective data prowess to use in aiding drone travel and cost considerations. Joshua Goldstein, director of business development for UrbanFootprint, authored a report in collaboration with Duke CTI Practicum looking at the practicality of using drones to deliver medicines and vaccines to rural areas. He spoke with Modern Shipper on that report and the broader opportunity that exists for urban air mobility (UAM).