It appears Amazon has started a new trend ever since the online retail giant took the wraps off its Prime Air service plan which will see the company make deliveries via aerial drones. Not long after the announcement, UPS jumped into the bandwagon by stating it too is experimenting on a similar method of delivering products. And, not to be outdone, Deutsche Post said it'll do the same.
Deutsche Post DHL is working on its own method of shipping contents via drones in the German city of Bonn. Earlier today, the company used what it calls the Paketkopter to transport a box of medicine across the Rhine River. The entire trip only totaled around 0.6 mile, and took the drone around 2 minutes to complete the delivery.
According to Deutsche Welle, this particular Paketkopter drone was controlled by humans during the delivery process. However, the company plans to have drones in the future that are capable of making deliveries automatically. These line of drones would rely heavily on GPS, and might not be able to travel across great distances. Moreover, the maximum load that can be carried by the drone is 6.6 pounds, which means bulky or big packages are out of question.
Despite the tests, Deutsche Post has no plans to launch a drone delivery service any time soon, noting only that this is "the beginning of the research project." It is not yet certain when these drones will go into effect, though it wouldn't be wise to stay out of game for a long period of time since Amazon and others are making serious inroads in this space.
The future of local delivery by air may look a lot like a sci-fi movie or novels. Never before did anyone believe that one day robots would be delivering packages to our doors.
While this is definitely exciting, the biggest problem one should worry about is safety. Like every man-made device, errors will eventually show its ugly head with these drones. Think about the risks involved if a drone malfunctions and drops from the sky while in flight over a park filled with children or over a busy highway.
Then again, if we continue to worry about safety, we as a species might never advance further in technology. For a better future, the pros probably outweigh the risks.