Reducing drone deliveries is not economics

Two days ago, an editorial appeared in The New York Times
With title, Where are the delivery drones, Written by Sila Ovid. The editorial argues that drone delivery opportunities and scales will continue to be disappointing for the foreseeable future. I agree that the industry has promised too much early in development, but the overall opinion is that economics makes no sense or that its value to society is unrealistic. Was unfounded. Below is a breakdown of the UAS industry, and certainly where I believe I have a different opinion than the author.

NYT: “Conclusion: For the time being, drone delivery will be convenient in a limited number of places for a small number of products under certain conditions, but due to technical and financial limitations, drones Is unlikely to be the future of large-scale parcel delivery. “

The author misses one important point that actually undermines their argument. Regulatory restrictions in most countries have significantly reduced investment and the type of innovation required for rapid and secure deployment has taken much longer. In countries where regulatory agencies have been able to approve the operation of large-scale drones, drone delivery has been very successful in enabling disconnected people to receive services that improve their lives, as the article warrants. doing. The difference was not that people and institutions were willing to pay more (in fact, alternative modes of transport are generally motorcycle deliveries or similar truck baggage deliveries with much lower labor costs). Regulators have been more open to new approaches and have seen the social value of on-demand, just-in-time, and delivery.

NYT: “Drone delivery is an important improvement for some tasks, such as delivering medicines to people in remote areas, but it’s more ambitious than the big drone dreams that Bezos and others have generally marketed. There is none.”

Rural communities around the world, including the United States, are very afflicted with imbalances in their investment in logistics. For example, in Alaska, 82% of the state’s community is not connected to highways or road systems. If your logistics network is connected but less functional, the cost and latency to get the same product where you need it will be doubled or tripled. The price is higher for the consumer or the service does not exist. Drone delivery has already proved its value in ensuring that “where you live does not determine if you live”. Delivery of drones in Ghana and Rwanda is due to blood shortages, due to the numbers that donor groups and NGOs have sought for decades and a fraction of the institutional costs associated with systematic rewiring. Reduced out-of-stock vaccines and wasted system-wide.

A recent third-party study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Study found that a drone company had the following impacts:

1. The service increased the number of products in stock at the facility by 9.4% (out of a total of 18, the number of managed products increased from 10.24 to about 11.2 in process).

2. On average, for all 18 products, regardless of the product the facility has selected for inventory … The service is 5.7 percentage points (pp) of the percentage of days without medical products compared to 50% of the control group. ) Reduced.

3.3. [services] Fewer cases have sent patients seeking vaccination due to out of stock. This service reduced instances of unvaccinated patients due to out-of-stock by 10 pp compared to the control group (25%) and 41% compared to the control mean.

Serving remote communities is less ambitious, which poses real challenges faced by poorly serviced communities in the United States and abroad that do not have access to on-demand delivery within 3-4 days. It shows the prejudice of the city to ignore.

NYT: Small aircraft operating without human control face two major obstacles. The technique is complex and governments often demand a lot of bureaucracy for good reason. (In the United States, regulatory issues are largely resolved.)… Dampat, an experienced drone engineer and senior fellow in the Hudson Institute’s research group, said he and I were in the garage in about a week. He said he could make a delivery drone for less than $ 5,000. The basics are not so difficult.

To say that regulatory issues are largely “solved” is probably the biggest misconception of the whole. To date, US regulatory issues have only enabled short-range non-commercial delivery under 14 CFR Part 107 (Low Risk Operations) and commercial operations with its own exemptions that limit scalability. The Beyond Visual Line of Sight Aviation Rulemaking Committee, a recent rulemaking effort, said: “FAA’s existing regulatory framework better supports the long-term viability and sustainability of this evolving aviation sector. It was founded with the understanding that it needs to be changed. Future regulatory framework better suited for scalable and secure drone delivery Conclusion: Neither the government nor the industry believes that regulatory issues have been resolved.

NYT: Automated technology continues to make the same mistakes.For decades, engineers kept saying that Unmanned car,Computer Reasons like humans Robot factory workers are everywhere soon and will be better than before.

Finally, you may agree that self-driving cars are taking a long time to change roads, but people in the industry say that promises aren’t the first step in technological evolution. It doesn’t mean you have to be disappointed. Self-driving car technology has brought about innovations in driver assistance technology that exists today and parking assistance that reduces traffic in major cities, impacts carbon reduction efforts, and reduces avoidable accidents. AI has enabled computers to detect cancer before it is discovered by doctors, rather than using a computer that has a reason like humans do. Also, joint robot factory workers will drive production, reduce consumer costs and bring new markets to previously unattainable products.

Organizations investing in and betting on drone deliveries have a growing need for safe, efficient, sustainable and last mile deliveries, and it’s clear that technology continues to evolve rapidly. The cause is a non-economic problem. The fact that Amazon, Google, Wal-Mart, Jumia, and UPS all consider drone delivery to be important to future operations is an important representative of our belief in the economic feasibility of drone delivery. Therefore, before writing an editorial on how drone delivery and other similar techniques make sense and arguing why, to one of your claims, and perhaps first to an expert. Please consult.

Frankly, anyone in their garage can build and fly a $ 5,000 drone-under current regulations and economic settings, something not too far away for free customers. To not deliver. But the reality is a bit more … complicated to meet the very complex vision of on-demand teleporting, anyone, anywhere, to better meet customer expectations.


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