Recently, an aircraft drone was found crashed near the Tijuana border. The drone was carrying over 6 pounds of meth. The use of drones to carry illegal substance across borders is growing as the drones become more and more accessible. (article) It is astonishing that drones, once used for military purposes, are publicly available. Although people are using the drones for illegal endeavors, many specialists believe it should not cause much concern as most drones cannot carry a significant amount of weight to make the “drone muling” a serious issue.
However, this got me thinking about all the good ways that the drones can be used to improve our daily lives. For instance, I was curious as to whether the US Mail Service or companies like UPS and Amazon are looking in to ways that they can utilize this technology.
What I found was that both UPS and Amazon (and many others) are doing extensive research and testing in order to make drone deliveries a reality.(article) The drones have the capabilities to cut down deliveries to 30 minutes. However, this drone delivery service is a few years away as the companies need to address certain legal issues. Last year, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) levied rules that make it very difficult and costly for companies to invest in the revolutionary delivery system. The FAA “proposed rules would limit commercial drones to a maximum altitude of 400 feet, and require operators maintain line-of-sight contact with unmanned aerial vehicles.”Another concern in regards to a drone delivery system is weather. Currently, the existing drone technology can fly well in small storms, but it does not have the necessary capabilities to work in severe storms. Although the drone system faces an uphill battle currently, it would not be a surprise to see a drone delivering an Amazon book or a Dominoes pizza to a house near you very soon.