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Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by LIVEFRMNYC, Dec 2, 2013.
Drones? This is not the future we were promised!
Where's my 30-minute delivery via cybernetic fembots wearing jetpacks?
I don't see this ever taking off. (SWIDT) IT will only work on small items and you need to be within 50 miles of a shipping center. Plus do we really want 1000's of drones flying around carrying things.
This is a great gimmick to get people talking about Amazon nothing more.
I think this is ****ing ridiculous and will never happen. Kudos for Bezos though, a 12 minute Amazon commercial on 60 Minutes right smack in the middle of shopping season. Also takes the spotlight off other Amazon stories like working conditions.
OMG!!! This will be the best shipping ever.
Won't happen. As a certified UAV pilot I can tell you that even the most basic system requires so many fail safes and detailed op manuals, and qualifications to simply share airspace with regular civil aviation that this system would not be legal in any country let alone the USA where drones are particularly illegal thanks to recent events with 9/11.
For starters each craft needs a RPAS pilot with a controller certificate, which would be rated for only VFR duties which rules out any flying beyond line of sight, even with full autopilot systems you have to be IFR trained and have spotters and system in place to identify the craft at all times to traffic control radar and radio coms, but no such category exists anywhere for commercial applications. Military drones controlled via sat link are totally different class to Light weight UAV Systems that are full autopilot and include a ground station and real time radio link for control and safety.
You would need one pilot per flying drone.
You can't fly in high winds, bad weather, or any time there is less than 5000m visibility, you can't fly over 400ft, which makes clearing obstacles interesting.
How do you follow standard see and avoid procedures if you can't see the drone, obstacles can appear from any where with out notice. How do you deal with interference from ass holes with projectiles, and high output EMI which can scramble electronic circuits. I found this out the hard way.
It is also illegal and unsafe to fly over populas areas, and where there are people going about there own lives and routine, so that rules out delivering to people...
Just doesn't make sense in the current systems. So much would have to change to make this even slightly viable. Safety is the main issue and addressing all those areas correctly will be the challenge.
Stephen Colbert has a better idea.
As much as I love this idea, I don't know how it would work. I actually bought a drone last week for the company to take aerial photos.
Can you imagine 100s of drones flying around and coming down without notice even at slow speed?
If nothing else, maybe this will force the FAA to step it up. I listened to a lecture a couple years ago about drone applications in law enforcement. One sheriffs department has a drone that they deploy at accident sites. Put it up, take photos of the scene, and clear the intersection in 15 or 20 minutes instead of the hour or so that it would take to measure everything from the ground. The problem, under current rules they have to file a FAA flight plan every time they put the drone up. Being law enforcement, they made the decision to follow the letter of the law.
The presenter told the story of a search and rescue situation where they needed to get a better look inside a cave. They decided just to see what the FAA would say about this situation. FAA insisted they file a flight plan to operate underground.
I think they finally got a blanket exemption for rural parts of the county, but compare this to what Amazon wants to do - we have a long way for the rules and the technology to meet up.
Everyone laughed at me when I said Tacocopter was the future. "Oh, you", they'd say, "no one in their right mind would want a flying robot guided via GPS to deliver delicious Mexican food to their doorstep in appropriately quick amount of time. Get your head out of the clouds, you crazy dreamer".
...and to them I said, "FOOLS! WHY DO YOU REFUSE TO STEP FORWARD WITH YOUR HEAD HELD HIGH AND GRAB THE FUTURE WHILE THE FUTURE IS RIPE FOR GRABBING? DO YOU NOT SEE THE OPPORTUNITY THAT'S BEEN SET BEFORE YOU? IS IT THE FEAR OF CHANGE THAT STAYS YOUR HAND? ANSWER ME"!
...and then they look at me weird, and go home. Or if I'm at their house, they make me leave. Whatever. They're all churls.
But now, thanks to Jeff Bezos, I have been vindicated.
Honestly, I'd be more concerned about mid-air collisions than them giving someone an impromptu buzz cut. Since they're basically little helicopters, they can take off and land vertically. All you'd have to do is mark a spot in your yard as a landing zone, and stay away from it during delivery to avoid injury.
...but without any flight regulation, these things can and will crash into each other en route.
I hope my weed dealer delivers by drone someday.
What's Amazon going to do: open a shipping center every 10-100 miles?
I feel like people will be shooting down and stealing these things like crazy.
All they need is a GPS in them so police can make an example of people that do that.
Or send up their own drones for some air to air combat.
Where is Pizza Hut on this issue?
Apparently that UAV certification doesn't include keeping up with what the FAA has in the works..
And right from the horse's mouth:
In short, they're working on it, and that's why Bezos even says in the piece that it's not feasible until at least 2015 when the FAA implements 'UAS' rules, and will likely be longer than that as they get the system "Amazon reliable" (my words but he basically says that).
Not Pizza Hut but..
I don't see this as the norm for the near future. You'd need a network of automated drones flying with anti-collision, even more expensive if you need a pilot for each one. As mentioned in the thread, if Amazon needs to have more facilities located in more places plus pilots, it would negate their advantage of just having regional shipping centers. The question is not is this technical feasible, but is it cost effective?
Anti-collision wouldn't be an insurmountable problem, though it'd require a bit of concentrated effort to implement properly since they'd be flying over public airspace.
Though if you ask me, you wouldn't even need to do that. In theory, all you'd have to do is calculate a base flying height from target to destination, then account for that when scheduling a flight, so that each drone operating within a specific area has it's own "layer" of air. You'd still want something like the FAA to account for all flight paths, but it wouldn't be TOO difficult to do.
Incredulous as it may sound, some futurists predict, that in the not to distant future, a "series of tubes" will deliver goods, quickly, cheaply and effectively, to every household in America.
I guess that rules out free shipping on Prime then!
Working on it doesn't mean anything, I'm working on Cold Fission but what is that doing to help any one right now (sarcasm intended).
Still, good to see changes being made.