Planes, Trains, Automobiles and ... Drones, by Michael Moritz
Rich Hua stashed this in Technology
Mr Moritz writes:
Nobody who was present when Orville Wright survived the first fatal air crash in 1908 after his plane “came down like a bird shot dead in full flight” could have dreamed that just over one hundred years later Sully Sullenberger would land a twin-jet Airbus A320 down the middle runway of the Hudson River without the loss of any of its 155 passengers and crew. But then again, the 2,000 spectators present when part of the propeller of Wright’s plane disintegrated could also not have imagined a time when almost 100,000 flights a day would take off or when composite fuselage materials, de-icing equipment, pressurized cabins, automatic pilot systems, head-up displays, the FAA, Jeppersen flights plans and the other accouterments of modern aviation would become standard.
Decades from now, drones will be just as much a part of life as trains, airplanes, automobiles, trucks, helicopters, farm tractors, combine harvesters, high-speed ferries and fork-lifts are today.
The adventurous aren’t holding back or waiting for the FAA. Mechanics are using drones to inspect the wings of parked airplanes. Farmers deploy them to inspect their fields and herd cattle. Realtors and videographers use them to shoot video to market properties and film weddings.
And Jeff Bezos’s idea for turning drones into delivery vehicles safely cruising in the uncongested air above cities is highly plausible. Delivery drivers might find this an unlikely prospect, but then again, workers who painted Model Ts would not have dreamed they would be replaced by robots.
He says the hullaballoo about an errant drone that nearly collided with a US Airways jet near Tallahassee Regional Airport is overreaction.