Drones in 2020 and Beyond
Drones seem to be here to stay, not just a passing trend. As mentioned the regulations are changing for them to be used commercially. They are used widely by the military and they are also used by private people. The demand for them will likely increase in the future.
Fail Safe Issue
Drones continue to be very advanced. Who has the ownership rights to drones that end up in private locations? Recently, a man in Denver realized his drone had drifted away. So he put up fliers around town so that anyone who may spot it can let him know.
The value of the drone is $2,000 plus another $400 for the camera installed on it. All he is left with is the transmitter. This was also what brought to the attention of consumers that there can be some glitches in the technology for drones. When the fail safe button is pushed, the drone is supposed to return to the takeoff spot.
That is why this man, who had lost sight of his drown by that point, pushed the fail safe. Then he went back to the launch area, expecting it to be there. It wasn’t, and he assumed it soon would be. However, it never happened and he feels like the company owes him an explanation. 39
He isn’t the only one with such a complaint though. There are numerous forums and reviews online about this very issue. This means it is a problem with the drones, not with the user.
With this negative publicity out there, manufacturers of drones have no choice but to make some better designs and to get them tested. They don’t want sales of these devices to slow down due to people worrying about their investment getting away from them and there is nothing they can do about it.
Noise of the Drones Matters
There have been complaints about the noise drones create. They are quite loud and that can be disruptive to those around them. People have complained about them to their local officials, to state representatives, and even to the Federal government. As a result, we will likely see noise reduction as part of the future for drones.
We touched on this in a previous chapter, but it is worth addressing here too. The future of drones is likely going to really grow in the commercial sector in the coming years. This is due to the fact that the FFA regulations that ban them from such use right now will be either modified or lifted.
It is anticipated that the price tag associated with drones will decrease around 2015. If that is true, then there will likely be more of them in use. For some consumers, it is that current cost that prevents them from making the investment.
Facebook may Buy Titan Aerospace
The number of people that are familiar with the social media site, Facebook, grows all the time. They are in negations to buy Titan Aerospace with a price tag of $60 million. Why would they have such an interest? It is believed it would allow them to give people access to Facebook even where there isn’t any internet access.
The buyout would then move into the next phase which is creating about 11,000 aerial drones. The model could be the popular Solara 60 which can hold up to 250 pounds. They are solar charged and they can remain at an altitude of about 65,000 feet for a period of up to 5 years.
CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, believes the use of drones could be the way to break down the walls for internet access in countries where they haven’t been able to. He also feels that this could create up to 140 million new jobs and also get more than 160 million people to end a life of poverty that they are currently experiencing. 41
Protecting the Boarders
Illegal immigration from other continues into the US continues to be a serious problem. The conditions for many of those immigrants are terrible too. They often hide in the heat and they don’t get enough food or water on the journey. Those that do make it into the USA can create a stir due to the immigration laws.
Drones are used along with manpower to protect the boarders located to the North, South, and Southeast of the US. While there have been some pilot programs in place, a few of the drones have actually crashed. This means that some improvements will need to be done if this resource is going to be a reliable method of keeping illegals from crossing the border.
According the FAA, there will be smaller drones that become part of the airspace in the USA. By 2017, it is estimated that these micro drones will be everywhere. There may be as many as 20,000 of them by that point in time.
There are about 56 different government agencies that use drones. There are 63 active drone sites where they can be used. This doesn’t include the 6 testing locations that were mentioned in a previous chapter. There are plenty of experts that believe the 21 Century is going to be the era of 42
drones rather than manned aircraft. It will change the world responds on many levels.