This was originally published on Futuring World, but I thought the topic would get more attention if I reposted it here, and I think it’s a topic that a number of ECW readers would be interested in.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ announcement yesterday on 60 Minutes of its plans to start delivering products by UAVs (drones) has already captured a lot of attention. There does not seem to be any significant technological hurdle to doing what Amazon envisions. Autonomous quadcopters are becoming well developed — as is GPS technology that would allow precision delivery to an intended locations. This mode of transportation has definite advantages in terms of speed and efficiency. In urban areas, ariel delivery of products could cut down on road congestion and consequently fuel consumption.
There are certainly going to be many questions raised regarding issues such safety and privacy — something Bezos talks about in the video below. I also wonder what labor unions might think about this. If many goods start being transported by drones, there could be fewer jobs in the delivery sector. How will retailers react if people can shop online for items and have them delivered in a matter of minutes? Technological development marches on at an increasingly rapid pace, it seems — and developments like this one at Amazon could transform major aspects of our lives in important ways.