Answer: O, it’s just Wing delivering the prescription from the pharmacy. WIng???????  Wing is a new drone owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet which just got the first approval from the FAA to deliver commercial packages.  Insane?  Maybe.  But Jeff Bezos has been looking at drone delivery since 2013.  That big brown 800-pound gorilla in the room, UPS, is looking at it too.  UPS delivers more than 4 billion packages a year.  They have more than 95,000 vehicles and 500 aircraft now.  I wonder if their drones will be brown.  But now let’s bring it back to earth.  Those 95,000 vehicles have drivers and those 500 airplanes have crews.  What if UPS begins to move certain small deliveries to drones?  Some people would lose jobs, and that could be just the tip of the iceberg.  It would be easy to envision a dystopian future where drones may eliminate more and more jobs in more and more industries.  But then you could also envision a future with as yet untold opportunities.

There will be plenty of FAA restrictions such as not being able to fly above 400 feet for example, flying only in the daytime in clear weather when the operators can see them and others.  Right now the early tests are being done only in southwest Virginia as part of a pilot program of Virginia Tech.  But tests have been ongoing in Canberra, Australia where drones have made more than 3,000 deliveries successfully.  Then think again about the FAA.  They have to keep track of and guide the thousands of airliners flying around every day now.  So keeping track of hundreds of drones, one of which might stray into the landing path of a commercial airliner, would add a level of complexity to the air traffic control system which may be too much to handle no matter how many restrictions are put into place.

Joseph Schumpeter who is credited with the conceiving the concept of disruption is smiling from his grave.  This could be one really a big disruption.  It could also create new opportunities for startups to take advantage of being able to use drones commercially.  Such as??????????


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