Further positive developments for drones

Debates about drones often focus on their viability & safety across a wide variety of sectors – something which is now settling down as technology, infrastructure and regulation catch-up with excitement.

Our previous update focused on the lengths that are being taken to make drones safer vehicles to fly and to manage, particularly when functioning as part of the retail industry.

Drones could assist global retailers like Amazon in their door-to-door deliveries, with new tracking systems enabling safer flight paths and longer journeys.

Recent proposed changes to drone regulation are also looking to make it easier to identify aerial vehicles via a license plate system. Drone owners in the USA could be required to display a unique identifier on their vehicle, which would be assigned by the Federal Aviation Administration as part of the completed registration process already in place.

Such changes would make it easier for unmanned aerial vehicles to be identified and tracked to discourage unauthorised and potentially unsafe flying.

The implementation of drones into industries such as manufacturing and construction, however, are proving to be highly beneficial and are predicted to bring cost savings of £3.5bn by 2030.

As Elaine Whyte notes, the UK drones leader at PwC: “Drones have the potential to offer a powerful new perspective for businesses across a variety of industries, delivering both productivity benefits and increased value from the data they collect.”

Others, like aerospace company, Thales Group, welcome the innovation that drones have brought to key sectors such as construction and agriculture. The ways that engineers and industry professionals have begun to utilise drones in such work, says Thales, offers “a glimpse of how our day-to-day lives will look tomorrow.”

We ourselves have written about how drones are revolutionising the construction environment, both from a practical perspective but also as one of the major media solutions in the industry.

Aside from these more industrial sectors, drones are also making headlines in more creative fields.

A fashion show in Saudi Arabia, for example, used drones in place of human models to showcase their clothes.

This comes after renowned fashion house, Dolce and Gabbana, used drones to display their handbag range at the beginning of their Milan show before their models took to the runway.

In their special issue on UAVsTIME magazine pull off a feat with 958 of Intel’s light-show drones. Together, they not only feature on the cover but they are the cover.

A screenshot of a swarm of drones over California forming a special cover of TIME magazine.
Above: a screenshot of a video showing a swarm of drones over Folsom, California – forming a special arrangement for the cover of TIME magazine.

The 958 UAVs used is only slightly lower than the numbers used in the pre-recorded performance at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The drones collected and hovered over Folsom, California for enough time to be captured on camera by another drone, which is a first in the 95-year history of TIME. The arrangement was 100 meters tall when airborne and made for an incredibly impressive sight.

 

These developments look largely positive for drones in a number of sectors. Of course, it is important to remain cautious in the face of new technologies but it is hard not to feel excited about these vehicles which seem to be at the forefront of innovation.

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