Despite significant regulatory hurdles in America, drone startups are rapidly increasing. The U.K. is surprisingly ahead of the United States in the regulation and deployment of drones. Recently, Royal Mail announced its intention to join the drone bandwagon. The postal service provider wants to use drones to deliver mail to rural areas. This move will give the government agency an edge over its commercial competitors.
Oil rigs and airlines are currently using drones to inspect equipment that’s hard for engineers to access. In the not too distant future, the question will not be whether or not you should use drones, but how drones can be used to simplify your life and business.
Drone Regulation in the U.S.
Many people feel that once the FAA finds a way to accommodate a wider range of drone use cases into its policies, regulations will loosen. An indication that this is on the horizon came last October when the Trump government told the FAA to allow local authorities to test their own drone regulations. The program was explained in the President’s memo and is expected to allow drone operators more freedom. A few examples would allow drone operators to fly outside their line of sight as well as fly their drones at night, both which are currently banned under FAA regulations.
California-based company Skydio recently launched a drone that can fly on autopilot. Although the drone has a battery life of just 16 minutes and is intended to follow humans, it’s definitely a sign of how rapidly the technology is developing.
Drones have changed conventional media for good. TV news aircraft has given way to camera-mounted drones. These drones deliver amazing overhead shots of people, scenery and events for a fraction of the price of helicopters or other expensive aircraft that news and police used to use.
High-end drones cost a few thousand dollars and can deliver a high-end 4K video camera experience. Because of this, more and more entrepreneurs and businesses are now launching complex drone operations for cheap.
Can Drones Give Small Businesses a Competitive Advantage?
Drones could become the secret weapon that gives local businesses an opportunity to compete against the increasingly speedy delivery of online giants such as Amazon and Walmart. The days of neighborhood drone delivery aren’t quite here yet, but the future looks promising. Regulations have to catch up with technology, so drones can coexist peacefully with people and we can almost certainly expect to see them buzzing across our skies soon.