December 2, 2013
Amazon.com recently announced on 60 Minutes that they are considering using drones from fast, same-day delivery.
This announcement may come as a surprise, but John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute said this idea could be here before you know it.
"I'm not surprised that groups like Amazon and large corporations were going to be using drones for commercial purposes," Whitehead said. "The estimate is that starting in 2015 it is a 30-billion dollar a year industry."
The vehicles are called octocopters, which is effectively a small drone.
In 2015, drones will have access to the FAA airspace. So, delivering a book in just 30 minutes like Amazon is suggesting will be possible.
"I think drones can be used for some really beneficial purposes, like delivering a book or saving someone from a fire or protecting the border, sure," Whitehead said.
The Director of Distribution at Crutchfield in Charlottesville, Chris Groseclose, said the technology could be good as long as the kinks are ironed out.
"To me, just my first take on it, it seems a little dangerous," explained Groseclose. "I'm sure they don't want to be taking customers out with the delivery drones. If it's safe and works I guess it will be good."
Many people may ask how using drones for delivery may effect our privacy. This year, Charlottesville took steps to protect that privacy. Charlottesville became the first city in the nation to bad drones on privacy concerns. Whitehead said other communities are following in our same steps.
"Lets get protections in place," Whitehead said. "They'll have legitimate uses, but lets make sure we can live in a community and a society that has privacy and constitutional rights."
In the 60 Minutes special, Amazon said that in the next four to five years, drone package delivery could be possible.