Drones – The future is now

From joystick to Jetsons, the future is here!

Technology has played a significant role in revolutionizing the world we live in, making our lives better, faster, easier and incredibly fun. It has given us an array of multi-purpose devices that have effectively, put everything within the touch of a button. In the world of technological advancement, nothing intrigues us more than the capabilities of drones. From the 2,000 drones which took to the sky as the perfect depiction of a running man in China on New Year’s eve to Intel’s exemplary effort at using drones to replicate fireworks, the stunning aerial dance of UFO’s that kept audiences at the edge of their seats in Steven Spielberg’s movie ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ has very much become a reality because of drones.

These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) leave nothing to the imagination for people the world over – and the fact is that we still have only scratched the surface of their potential. Rather than just a flying form of amusement with military applications, drone technology is being applied for even more practical uses in aerial data and information supervision.

While drones have been a part of our lives for quite a while now, programming and algorithms are only just starting to capitalize on the full extent of a drone’s capabilities. This presents a host of new opportunities – not only during 2020, but for the decade.

Expanding horizons

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global commercial drone market size is valued at USD 5.80 billion, with an estimated 274.6 thousand units sold, in 2019. The market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 56.5% in the coming years. Drones are finding an increasing application across farming, energy, weather and entertainment sectors, and is expected to have a positive impact on the global market. Both drone manufacturers and providers are developing curated, industry-specific solutions to address their customers needs and business objectives. The growing requirement of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have given producers the power to design and manufacture drones that support an expanding variety of designs according to size, weight dimensions and even shapes that carry distinct payloads, making them an easy choice across a wide spectrum of applications.

One of the noteworthy factors that are driving the demand in commercial sectors is the fact that drones have the ability to perform the most hazardous of tasks such as inspecting sewage systems with ease. Rescue during natural disasters, fires and so on have also become much easier because of UAV’s. This is because rapid action units can pinpoint the location of people that are trapped and initiate rescues faster with the help of drone technology. A growing demand has prompted government bodies from around the world to lower entry barriers for innovators and startups to manufacture UAV’s for commercial operations. Leading technology giants for example have even demonstrated drone delivery services from warehouse to customer. Quite a feat, in the advent of quicker doorstep delivery.

Still a few chinks in the armor

The increasing use of drones for commercial purposes has become the biggest emerging threat to the future of airline safety, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. According to the study, one of the biggest risks is from radio frequency interference, resulting in loss of control of the aircraft. Other concerns include the invasion of privacy, aerial surveillance and data collection. As per leading insurance providers, it is crucial to draft policies which make it necessary to highlight how collected data will be used. Regulatory bodies still have a lot to cover when putting pen to paper and drafting policies that properly encapsulate the issues that may arise with commercial drones. Since the commercial applications for UAV’s are still relatively new, it is difficult to quantify the liabilities side as well as insuring the whole value of the asset.

Technology makes anything possible

The possibilities of tomorrow don’t necessary refer to The Jetsons with their flying cars – instead, people should be excited by drones becoming more widespread. Large scale drone automation and integration is in the cards, and this is sure to see the industry grow exponentially. The next few years will be all about connecting the data dots to quickly present a more wholesome figure. This will take industries off the beaten path, giving them the ability to collect and analyze information, specific to their exact needs. What is more enterprising and futuristic than that?
About the Author: Sachin Khosla is the CEO & Founder of DigiMantra Labs, which provides a wide range of digital security and development services for the tourism and transportation industries, amongst others.