Far from being one shot wonders, drones continue to increase in appeal to the commercial marketplace as an essential business tool. A 2018 survey involving US companies with a revenue of at least $50 million found that 90 percent believed drones saved time and money and use would quickly double.
Drone Services for Both Large and Small Companies
Drone services fall into two categories – delivery and non-delivery. These applications have already been tested.
▪ UPS creating a drone delivery business.
▪ Uber announcing plans to deliver food by drone.
▪ Flirty with approval to deliver automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
▪ A Memphis airport initiative for drones to inspect freight aircraft and warehouse areas.
▪ A medical center in Baltimore receiving drone delivery of organs for transplantation.
▪ A China based company demonstrating 2 pilotless drones in the US for air taxi.
What is Coming
Drone highways will begin to emerge in the skies. What will business leaders create as a result? To pave the way for services and activity on these highways, manufacturers will be required to install electronic IDs for tracking so drones can be seen like other aircraft. However, companies that manage drone highways need government approval to request, approve and monitor flight paths. Airspace Link is an FAA approved provider with a geography information based system that must enforce FAA flight rules for drones.
Detroit is leading the way with the Detroit Region Aerotropolis Development Corporation. This partnership of Detroit area counties, airports, economic developers and private businesses is taking city planning to a new level. They are creating drone highways in the sky to facilitate drones in business and allow people to move in new ways.
The aerotropolis is in the early stages and is attracting interest from several types of businesses. Logistic companies are looking at leasing warehouse and distribution facilities within the aerotropolis region. Delivery time of parts, for instance, can be reduce from days to hours.
Detroit is known as the motor city that built the automobile. Maybe Detroit will be the first to build highways in the skies to move people and products.