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Drones: Good or Bad for Mobility?

Sensational-sounding headlines in the media like “Amazon unveils futuristic plan: Delivery by drone” left many (myself included!) initially wondering if it was a farce. Now, of course, we know the e-commerce giant is dead serious. If the company gets its way, drones will deliver packages, using low-altitude airspace, deemed “drone zones” in the not so distant future.

Others hop on board

It’s not surprising that logistic companies like DHL also see drones as a great opportunity. Their current humanitarian-sounding research project uses drones, called DHL parcelcopters, to deliver vital supplies like medication to remote areas with poor infrastructure.

On the other end of the spectrum, Uber, with its attention-getting marketing and PR strategies, and controversial business model in Europe, recently ran a promotion in Singapore allowing customers to order ice cream for delivery by drone. Attention getting? Yes. Necessary? Debatable.

Good drone or bad drone?

No doubt, the widespread use of drones remains highly controversial. I personally find them exciting and am especially curious about what role, if any, they will play in the future of mobility. On a whole, I perceive them as an excellent opportunity to get things from point A to point B, not as a risk. For instance, such drone applications that reduce the number of delivery vehicles clearly benefit our streets and cities: they would lead to less traffic and lower CO2 emissions. Bring on the drones!


What’s your stance on drones? What additional advantages or disadvantages are there for mobility?