Drones, just in case you haven’t heard are UAV or unmanned aerial vehicles. That means they are flying machines that can be controlled without a pilot. Something that allows them to be smaller and less detectable, as well as used in dangerous situations, minimising any risk to life. In the news, they are often heralded as the next great leap in our technological advancement or vilified as a toxic time bomb waiting to go off and irreparably damage our privacy and economy. Below we look at both arguments and aim to establish which is true.
One of the most major concerns about drones is the effect they could have on our privacy. This is in large part due to the fact they can easily be equipped with cameras for capturing images that we do not wish to be public, so causing possible issues with personal and state privacy.
In particular, there are concerns that drones could easily infringe the CCTV Code and the Data Protection Act, as well as make stalking incredibly easy.
Despite this, there are many people involved in the development and production of drone technology that remind us not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. After all, drones have many applications including use in the military and security sector. Something that could potentially save countless lives in combat or bomb disposal situations.
Military drones could change the face of warfare as we know it.
The issue though is that drones will not be limited only to the sectors mentioned above, but will, and are currently being used in the commercial and private sectors as well. In particular, drones’ application for fulfilling online order deliveries quickly, efficiently, and cheaply is something that many companies are interested in, and will seek to create new jobs for drone operators. As long as they have received the benefits of drone flying courses that is, and are qualified to operate them in a professional capacity.
Unfortunately, that means the delivery industry that currently includes those picking and packing in factories, as well as the drivers themselves could be under threat. Something that could mean the loss of thousands, if not millions of jobs worldwide. Combine this with the increasing threat of robot automation of physical tasks and AI automation of the non-physical, and you could have what many are predicting to be a massive employment crisis; the likes of which we have never seen.
Drones being airborne will also have an impact on airspace and air safety. A problem that we are currently seeing the very beginnings of. This is such a danger because it can interfere with the safety of the normal and precisely planned aircraft routes that run between and within countries.
Unregulated drone flights in prohibited airspace also pose a terrorist threat. This is because they provide a quick low-risk way of delivering dangerous items and information with little chance of tracing it back to the source.
Will drones be accepted as a part of our everyday lives?
In conclusion, the benefits of drone use are compelling, but the disadvantage may just tip the scales and make them an unpopular phenomenon. However, the real proof of the pudding will be whether big businesses take them up as part of their everyday practice. This will mean that no matter how unpopular they may become with us average Joes, they are likely to remain a fixture in our lives for the foreseeable future.