Canberra Approves Drone Deliveries

Alphabet-owned drone firm Wing secures approval from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to begin UAV deliveries in Canberra; CASA says the service will initially be available to ~100 homes in the region before expanding to other areas; Wing has been testing the service locally for the last 18 months.

On this back of this world first announcement ABC Radio Canberra’s Anna Vidot wanted to chat all things future of drones.

Canberra’s drone delivery service is expected to start with 100 eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin in the coming weeks, before expanding into Harrison and Gungahlin.

We started with the commercial reality of flying drones and my belief that we are 3-5 years away from it being common to the point that none of us take any notice of them.

The company estimates that at scale, drone delivery could add $30m to $40m in additional annual revenue for ACT businesses.

It is trumpeting delivery cost reductions as well as reduced carbon emissions and predicts drones could deliver more than one in four take-away food orders, and up to 4-6% of all purchases in the ACT by 2030.

Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has a lot invested in this new venture, not just in $$ terms but also as the vanguard of an entirely new business and sector.

Our chat soon took us into other lands as we explored human nature and our ability to adapt to technology, and then the question that I love “are our politicians leading or following the charge?

My take is they are lagging behind and when they do play catch up it is often with old business, law and political paradigms that don’t fit new technology and landscapes.

I couldn’t help adding that last weeks legislation to hold social media executives personally responsible for what goes up on their site and maybe even put them in jail, as a prime example of old does not meet new.

I’m all for them being held accountable and we should and must pressure them to be more vigilant, but in this digital landscape it’s almost impossible, currently, to instantly assess and take down hate and horrible images and words.

To preempt or to pre-judge what might be said at some future point and ban its existence today in case it turns out to be bad tomorrow, is the newest from of censorship and I’m still not sure who has the right and ability to judge what is and isn’t appropriate for a broad divergent population.

I absolutely believe that abhorrent material should be stopped, but this is not a zero-sum game and handing over blanket rights to a politician or government official to decide what is and isn’t acceptable is to big a step backwards for my liking.

Amway, have a listen and decide for yourself and then get your messenger drone to drop me a comment, or just leave a comment below (9 minutes 30 seconds).

Eye on the Future - Apr 10, 2019 | All, Gadgets, Horizon Trends, Radio Interview, Social, Technology, Transport
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