10 ways drones will disrupt society and way of life

12 December 2014 Consultancy.uk

Drones may soon be seen floating on the horizon, buzzing to and fro on private and civil errands. From resuscitation drones, that quickly fly lifesaving equipment to the scene of an emergency, to delivery drones, that quickly and efficiently deliver products to people on demand, the place of drones in our lives is set to take off in the coming decades.

In a recent blogpost Anuj Kharbanda, a cyber-security analyst working for professional services firm PwC, listed ten ways in which drones may come to disrupt, whether to add or detract, from the UK’s contemporary way of life, impacting society as we know it. Consultancy.uk presents a summary:

1. The end of the “We have something for you” card – Coming home to a piece of paper in your letterbox that notes you’ve not been home to the courier, will be a thing of the past if drones can deliver to order.

Drones 1

2. Drone economics – The introduction of drones may disrupt current trends in the retail market, with positive commodity effects potentially benefitting consumers.

3. No more clear skies – The skies will be filled with a buzzing and a whirring as drones move to and fro, gone will be the days of skies containing the stray bird, our attention caught by drone flitting out of the corner of our eye.

4. Drone Traffic Regulations – The Wild West in the skies may be shot down, as legislators introduce regulation to bring order to the whizzing drones and our skies.

5. Make room for drone stations – The drones will need to berth to refuelrecharge at various places around the city, as well as load up on new goods.

Drones 2

6. Last mile disruption – Especially last mile courier companies, those taking the last steps to our doors, will be disrupted by this technology. Drones may massively reducing the costs of this form of delivery.

7. Employment – The disruption of the last mile may result in a large reduction of courier positions, which will remove one kind of “between positions” employment. On the positive side, it may create technical jobs to maintain the drones.

8. Drone hijacking – One thing drone experts will need to contend with is the potential to hack and re-direct drones. Nefarious parties may use software toolkits to redirect delivery pizza’s or goodie bags to their place instead.

9. Drone terrorism – Terrorists might be able to take control of the drone and cause problems in any number of ways, from simple destruction of drone infrastructure and property, to attacks on people.

Drone hijacking

10. Drone throne – The final possibility is more light-hearted. Competition between gamers might create a “robot wards” of the skies, where drones engage in combat to the death as a spectator sport.

On a final note, Kharbanda notes that “the applications and possibilities engendered by drones are endless, and merely limited by our own imagination.” 

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