Just when express deliveries had been declared the best thing that’s happened to the logistics industry, it went ahead and unveiled brand new ideas to make e-commerce and shopping even more innovative. Drones have been in our technological spectrum for a long time now; mostly in the areas of military, videography or entertainment. But the concept of small aerial devices that can operate without human intervention have a longer way to go. Drones are now proposed as a means to ease logistics for online/retail businesses which could in fact be the future of delivering orders!
Sky is the Limit:
Automated drones were initially used for military purposes around 16 years ago. However, this new application of drones could change the logistics arena forever. Technology giants like Amazon, Google and DHL have started to adopt drones for their deliveries now. Devices that can carry up to 2 kilograms of weight are currently being used by Amazon for its service called Amazon Prime Air.
When the customer chooses a product from a range of thousands of products, the order is placed and a drone is made ready in the nearby facility with all the necessary details fed to it, like the Location, product description, routes etc. Once the drone takes off by itself, it would fly towards its delivery location using the cameras and GPS controllers attached to them. A swift delivery is made that is indeed beyond any ‘Express Delivery’ the world has seen till now.
Many students doing their Btech abroad or engineering abroad are researching on how drones can contribute to various fields. Students who study abroad and in India alike, have done thorough research on how these tiny yet impactful technology can improve agriculture, by providing imagery and crop monitoring.
Flying Away from Pollution
Everyone equally agrees on how the smoke from vehicles are choking our environment with dangerous carbon emissions. Even though it’s the last one mile, drones would make a huge difference when compared to trucks. Studies prove that if the delivery destination is within the 4 km range from the warehouses, drones spend less energy when compared to trucks.
At the current placement of retail stores in cities, it could be a little expensive to have drones deliver goods. But what the planet is looking at is a future were retail stores would cease to exist and would be replaced by online warehouses. But drone services like Zipline, that provides emergency drone deliveries for items like medicines or life support are still relevant for situations when it is impossible to put a price on time. Various study abroad programs are providing researches in the field of IoT were drones are a recent addition.
What to expect?
The regulations and risks around implementing drones for package deliveries is not very simple as of now. To utilize drones as the most used delivery medium, researchers need to think about ways to handle possible collisions, possibilities to have workable infrastructure etc.
Under ICAS Canada, one can explore the possibilities of unmanned aircraft systems under the National Research Council.
Efforts like Google’s drone researches for burrito delivery would definitely lead to bigger ideas which would ultimately make our lives lesser burdensome. From driverless cars to Self-flying taxis, our skies are going to need much better navigating options for the ‘air-lings’ out there.