Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Drones Drones Everywhere!

Meanwhile in the marketing departments:

Dominos Pizza: We have a pizza delivery drone as a marketing stunt
Amazon: Hey we should also do some "dominos like" drone marketing
DHL: Hey amazon give us some of that drone publicity too...

Are drones truly the future of the corporate product delivery? I'm convinced it's not a real solution to making delivery faster/easier etc although so many people have immediately swooped up the idea as being true and become part of this marketing stunt without questioning it at all...

Drones (especially like the one's shown by the companies) have a few problems, namely my list of why-this-is-purely-a-stunt:

1. Drones carry one item at a time, a delivery truck carries many along a preplanned route, therefore say Amazon, would need a huge amount of drones delivering in parallel - simply not feasible, imagine the maintenance and charging issues.

2. Battery power - most drones, especially the one's sported by the companies listed only have a few minutes of battery power, most between 9-18 minutes, excluding the weight of large parcels - not exactly great for long distance delivery...

3. Heavy products - most products are heavy, you wouldn't need much for a small drone to not be able to fly, perhaps only a book or two?

4. Weather Conditions - controlling the drone's directions especially with wind/snow/rain, and then landing it safely at what you hope it the correct address - pretty hard to replace the human factor here.

5. Laws - It'll take years and buckets of money to get drones to be compliant with laws around the world for this type of delivery.

6. Hacking/"Stoners" - many drones are reliant on line-of-sight communication, this can be overcome but imagine how many people will try to hack the signal to/from these drones and as many have stated why not simply knock it out of the air with a stone...

7. Last but not least - Why? currently it's easy to outsource the problem to a delivery company, after you give them the package it's their responsibility, seems much easier than starting a drone logistics/maintenance/etc department.

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