Amazon Drones On

So, the big news in the last week, among other things, was that Amazon.com was researching the idea of using drones to deliver packages near their repositories.

Source: BBC

This is an interesting idea, but I have mixed feelings about it.

First, my pro-side says that this could really speed up deliveries. Don’t have to worry too much about UPS trucks catching fire and burning your package to tho dust. For those outside the distance that would be served, it would free up delivery space so you’d probably see improved response, too. And, it would probably be something that would allow Amazon Fresh to expand into other markets, too. (While I haven’t used the service, I saw the delivery vans while in Seattle for 5 1/2 months with my son earlier this year.)

So, yea! Speedier deliveries!

However, another story from a few months ago niggled in my brain when I heard about this.

I believe it was in Colorado (and probably other jurisdicitons as well) where certain towns and counties were considering offering a bounty for drones being shot down.

Now, I’m a conservative, bordering on libertarian. I try to keep that part off this blog for a reason (mostly because I don’t want a lot of fighting and hate on my blog, but also because there’s an international audience to this blog who really couldn’t give a rat’s behind about my occasional opinions on politics.) Where my philosophy comes in is that I honestly don’t see a problem with shooting down government drones because they’ve overstepped their bounds of privacy on the individual. But, what if some nincompoop shoots down the Amazon drone bringing me a new battery for my laptop or a box filled with my books for a book signing, thinking it’s a government drone? What happens then?

I haven’t seen a drone in person, just pictures on the internet, and on the news. However, I think they’re rather small, especially the ones demoed on the evening news for Amazon the other night. Unless your average Joe with his high-powered rifle has a very exceptional scope, he’s probably not going to be able to tell the difference between a drone launched by the EPA surveying cattle emissions and one launched from the Amazon hub nearby making deliveries.

While I think the idea of having a drone make deliveries for companies is an applaudable, I do think these companies would be remiss if they didn’t investigate the legalities of what happens if their drone gets shot down. I’m sure they’ve got teams of lawyers looking at these laws already–at least, I hope they do!

Legislatures will need to stay current with this as these new technologies come into commonality as well. Unfortunately, our legislative process does move quite slowly in most instances–and for good reason. But this will be a topic that our legislatures and city councils across our country will need to stay on top of, and work to find ways to protect our free economy.

There’s a lot to think about as these new technologies become commonplace. (I, personally, am waiting for my transporter, food replicator, and lightsaber!) It would behoove us to be thoughtful as we decide how to integrate them into our lives.

Until next time…

Oh, P.S.

I’m not going to make a huge deal out of it because it’s ONE story, but I did post my first self-published short story on Amazon yesterday for $0.99. If you feel so inclined, go take a peek.  It won an honorable mention in the Team PYP short story project in 2011/2012. This is the first time it’s been seen outside of the Team PYP group. Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Amazon Drones On

  1. Thanks, Katie!

    I'm sure there are lots of ins and outs to consider with the drone issue, and while I'm generally nervous about drones, I think when used in this way, it's a pretty cool idea. I'm cautiously optimistic that they'll make it work!

    Like

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