Asimov was right. As we progress into the future, more and more jobs will be filled by robots. Over the years we’ve seen our cars, fabrics, and fast food come to market by way of machines. The next paradigm shift, whether good or bad, seems to be by way of drones.
Though the term “drone” has come into ubiquity through its military use, it has many civilian applications. Such applications include — among others — surveying, recreation, and delivery. This latter application brings Amazon to mind immediately.
No wonder the tech giant would be miffed when the President issues a memorandum limiting the operation of drones. Particularly, as Newser states, the memo specifies “measures to guard against abuse of data collected in drone flights. Among other steps, the order requires agencies to review privacy and civil rights protections before deploying drone technology and to follow a range of controls.”
A few ‘range of controls’ include the following: operators must be in direct sight of the drone, and drones cannot be flown at night. These limitations, as Amazon puts it, defeats the purpose of having drones at all. Although tech companies plan to fight the measure, Amazon is “prepared to deploy where [they] have the regulatory support [they] need.”
…the tech giants say.
And as it happens so often, bad news for one is good news for another. This memorandum is especially valuable to courier companies such as UPS and FedEx. UPS, who seems to be lagging a bit behind its main competitor, has already been working to implement a new algorithm that would make drivers more efficient.
The company’s Orion computer platform analyzes traffic, travel costs, and distance when determining the most efficient delivery route. Although it occasionally requires drivers to make left turns and back up (both no-nos in UPS driving policy), Orion engineers have been riding along to see where the program needs fixing.
Whether it’s by drone or truck, everyone needs their goods shipped. At least we all can agree that it won’t be by USPS.