Commercial drone insurance Coverdrone predicts that drone delivery could soon become an everyday reality due to changes in the industry landscape over the last few years.
While drones have found commercial applications in pipeline inspection, surveillance, medical deliveries in Africa, media production and entertainment, it has yet to fully roll-out across domestic deliveries.
Coverdrone’s Jules Hornbrook has commented that the service may soon see an increase in take up due to UAVs becoming be affordable for end users.
He said: “When the early drones became available to a wider market, the technology was still evolving. Affordable UAVs were not particularly stable, controls were basic and higher-spec cameras and positioning software came as add-ons.
“Now the game has changed. Prices have dropped and specifications have soared. Even hobbyist machines have impressive capabilities. Moving up the hardware range, commercial UAV operators and companies such as Amazon will fly sophisticated and powerful machines capable of travelling longer distances and with sizeable loads.”
While drone delivery is nudging closer to reality, with online retail giant Amazon has plans in the pipeline to launch its drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air, Hornbrook added that there are some teething issues that need addressing first.
He added: “One solution might see nominated drop-off zones established in busy areas. Customer-to-drone communications would identify the nearest collection point, a time could be agreed, and the drone would only drop its cargo (perhaps at a mini helipad-style surface) if the customer was in the immediate vicinity. Using a mobile phone App, customers could track the progress of the drone and their parcel.
“The result, if successful, would be cost and time savings for both retailers and customers as many failed delivery attempts would be avoided.”