Every industry is being impacted by drones. Drones are a big trend in commerce and business. Drones can be used to collect information like aerial traffic studies, structural integrity and thermal activity. They even allow for product delivery.
We’ll be focusing on the three most important benefits mentioned above. And we’ll talk about how drones could become an everyday sighting in the future, even if pilots are not involved.
Note, if a drone is used in business, the pilot needs to be certified with the FAA, called the Part 107. Every pilot working at Unmanned Aerial Operations is Part 107 Certified.
Aerial Traffic Studies with Drones
Drones are being used by many businesses, including fast food restaurants, theme parks and schools, as well as governments to study aerial traffic patterns.
Drones are used by fast food restaurants and other restaurants to conduct aerial traffic studies. The drones can determine the location of pileups, where they occur, how many cars arrive at a given time, and the direction they come from.
The drone can be positioned above the property by the pilot. This will allow management to see where pileups are occurring, how they occurred, and what new construction could help.
Sometimes, however, large areas like a school zone or theme park require a pilot to conduct an aerial traffic study. Sometimes, a new pilot is not the best choice.
Pilots must be able capture large areas. However, they may not be able because they do not have an elevation waiver or the wide lens necessary to capture the entire area. Below is an example of an aerial traffic study that captured large school zones using a wide lens. To see the entire video, click here.
The school was able take the footage and analyze where cars were parked so that they can accommodate traffic when construction happens.
Business Inspections Using Drones
It is also being used to inspect things. Drones can be used in the telecom industry to determine the structural integrity and heat output of towers. A thermal camera, multi-spectral camera or RGB camera can visualize the structural integrity.
The heat output can be visualized only with a thermal camera-equipped teller. Drones are safer, more efficient, and more accurate in the telecom industry. Drone pilots and drone manufacturers have been able to profit from this new technology, as has the dental industry.
Drones can often be used to inspect powerlines. Most agencies that inspect power lines work for the energy company who owns them.
Inspection of power lines involves flying a drone down the powerline to collect visual data as well as information about the poles and boxes that are connected to it.
A drone can also be used to inspect engineering feats such as bridges. A drone can be used to inspect a bridge by collecting visual data through video or photos.
Due to the high risk of bridge failures, drones with LiDAR payloads are being used to inspect bridges. This dense cloud allows inspectors to examine cracks and faults in bridge structures.
For inspections, underwater drones can also be used. In order to preserve structural integrity, dams, docs, and ships can almost always be inspected. Underwater drone pilots can capture video and photos to see any weakness in the structure.
This is especially important for docks, boats, and dams. Dams that are not regularly inspected can cause disaster. Dams that have weaknesses can lead to their bursting. Human death is very likely.
A dam burst can cause the destruction of virtually all that is in its path, causing human and environmental death. These include bridges and forests, farmland as well as towns and residential areas. Below is an example of a drone that can be used for underwater inspections.
Drones For Business Deliveries
The use of drones for parcel delivery has been widely reported. Although it seems unlikely, this is actually happening right now. Amazon, Walmart, and UPS all teased their drone delivery program.
Convictions for airspace violations can cause problems, and accuracy issues may arise in densely populated areas like cities. Walmart currently delivers packages by drone in some parts of the USA. These areas are often remote and rural. This is an ideal use case for drone-based package delivery.
The drone delivery of packages to remote areas is not just beneficial for companies like Amazon and Walmart that have millions of packages. The medical industry is the best and most practical use of drone-based package delivery.
The idea was born in Rwanda, when a company started building their own drone gliders. They also began packaging medical supplies inside the gliders. Rwanda is a tiny country in Africa. Many places are far from the nearest hospitals and are unable to provide medical care.
What’s the solution? The solution? This technology has been used in the USA to save many lives. Zipline, a company that flies medical supplies between towns, uses certain FAA exemptions in order to fly out of the line of sight.
It’s possible that other businesses will also look to drone delivery for medical supplies as the technology becomes more widespread. As more businesses attempt to make this a reality, the FAA will likely create or regulate more exemptions to allow businesses such as Amazon and Walmart to deliver packages.
It’s possible that drones will be seen many times per day as we move into the future. The public will have to decide if it’s a good idea.
Citizens are worried about privacy invasions when large companies like Walmart and Amazon fly over their neighborhoods 24 hours a day.
Are Drones Good For Business?
It is well-known that data is a major part of commerce and business. The drones that deliver packages to customers could sell the data they have collected, including video and private data. These court cases are likely to come to light in near future. But for now, drones in commerce and business seem to be benefitting the public and the industry.