Drone deliveries not a good idea
By Jessica Graue Assistant Managing Editor email@example.com
Three people Monday asked me if I went Black Friday shopping over the weekend. My answer was a resounding “hell no!” I actually had to work on Friday, which may not have been any better. I remember when I was young, my mother would get me up at 5 a.m. to go wait in line, but that was OK because I would get Super Nintendo games. I am an ’80s baby.
I tend to stay away from anything having to do with shopping for deals. I am what I call a gift card-giver. I will basically give you money if you are a loved one of mine. Luckily, I only have a few of those, so people like my sisters get spoiled.
Cyber Monday is probably the only day that I actually once bought a Christmas present. I bought this last year after I saw a deal for a Toshiba Satellite laptop for a cool $299. I had that delivered to my house, even though that did scare me a little bit. Who knows who will be delivering your items?
But Amazon has tried to solve that problem by announcing this week that they’re developing self-guided drones to do the delivering for the company. The drones resemble a gas grill with propellers on it. The picture I saw may have actually been delivering a grill, but it looks like something out of a science fiction film.
And we know what happens in science fiction movies. The technology turns on the humans eventually. It happened in “2001: A Space Odyssey” and my beloved “Short Circuit.” Again, I’m an ’80s baby.
Beside the obvious problem of drones being used to spy on and kill people, the other errors that could occur are plentiful.
The drones will receive a set of coordinates and will eventually find a purchaser’s house via GPS. Humans will not be in control of the drone, so who’s to say it won’t fly into a building, power lines, roof, tree or possibly a bald eagle? Killing a bald eagle in an offense that people a lot of money for. The offense costs $250,000 maximum per eagle, and two years imprisonment is also a penalty.
And who would actually go to jail or pay the fine? If there is no human behind the wheel, then the fault lies with who? The regulations for delivery related to drones would definitely need to be specific.
While it might be a slippery slope to argue that the slaughter of bald eagles by drones is a possiblity, there are other things that consumers should be concerned about such as theft. If a drone lands in the middle of my street in East Dayton, a homeless man will most likely run out of the woods and snatch it up. What if a child got a hold of the drone before the parents? Eight speeding propellers could be an issue for a curious child’s fingers.
I would also be concerned with the damage to the package. If a purchase hits turbulence in Indiana and is dropped into a cornfield, who pays for that? Insuring packages would be a necessity. Do we really need to not work so hard for things anymore?
Apparently, in the United Kingdom, the “DomiCopter” has been tested by Domino’s Pizza that would be delivering pizzas. Was the common car method of delivery not quick enough? I once got a pizza from Papa John’s in about 20 minutes, so unless the drone actually cooks the pizza while in flight, it doesn’t seem worth it.
Also, who would I tip? I guess I wouldn’t tip. Nevermind. Drones are a great idea.
Jessica Graue is the Assistant Managing Editor for the Xenia Daily Gazette and the Fairborn Daily Herald.
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