One Thing I know

GISCafe Industry Predictions for 2023 – Dronedek

January 20th, 2023 by Sanjay Gangal | Source: GISCafe

One thing I know by Dan O’Toole, founder and CEO, Dronedek

As this new autonomous delivery paradigm is set to launch things are going to significantly change.  When I say significantly, I mean in a good way.

“We are a spoiled consumer” and we want things delivered to us better, faster, cheaper, and fresher.  Getting the most for the least is what it’s all about.  Paying less, not having to leave, having the quality and freshness at its height and all, right now, is where we want to be.

In the show Star Trek, “beam me aboard” delivered the person or item immediately from great distances to the Starship Enterprise.  While we are not quite there just yet, in the time it may take to contemplate a trip to your local restaurant or retailer, you could very well have your desired delectable or product delivered, via today’s new autonomous last mile.

People, horse and buggies, scooters, motorcycles, trucks, buses, vans, campers, cars, and bicycles are all set to share their thoroughfares with the likes of aerial drones, robots, and unmanned autonomous vehicles. With the introduction of any new technology, the societal default always seems to be skepticism and doubt.  Autonomy is no different.  When the phone operator was no longer needed to connect your long-distance calls or when the elevator operator was replaced with a keypad, a pin boy at your local bowling alley, cashiers by barcodes and on and on, the cry of taking jobs away was always heard and in each instance a better job was created, and a better standard of living was produced.  Notions about loud drones, people shooting drones out of the sky, technology stealing jobs, unmanned vehicles creating accidents, privacy concerns and nervousness about crowded airspace, sidewalks, and roads are just some of the topics of banter.

When the phone operator was no longer needed to connect your long-distance calls or when the elevator operator was replaced with a keypad, a pin boy at your local bowling alley, cashiers by barcodes and on and on, the cry of taking jobs away was always heard and in each instance a better job was created, and a better standard of living was produced.

The emergence of this new autonomous age is set to deal with each of these anxieties and in a good way!  Let’s address each of these.

  • The sound of a drone is only evident at lower altitudes.  The “noise” quickly falls into the background, much like the inherent sound of traffic on a road.  New technology from companies such as Hush Aerospace is emerging and delivering on the promise of low audible distribution.
  • The prospect of people shooting down drones is always there, of course.  Just like shooting at an airplane, a delivery truck, or a mailbox.  Federal Laws are in effect making it a crime to shoot at an aircraft, including a drone.  No matter if it’s a firearm, crossbow, or even a pellet gun.  The penalties can be severe, in some cases up to 20 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.  Drones, equipped with cameras and GPS will be able to document the act and quickly report, so people may want to think twice.
  • The notion of technology stealing jobs is not an issue.  In this case, conventional delivery will always be present.  The fact is that a whole new industry is taking shape, creating a huge volume of new opportunities that cover the entire spectrum. These “green jobs” include manufacturing, installation, maintenance, repair, engineering, technology, sales, collections, advertising, public relations, delivery, call centers, admin and management positions will all be available.  The reality is that we have a labor shortage right now.  Today in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, a significant shipping company will deliver to 8000 more unique locations than they did just 2 years ago in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Extrapolate that across the entire country, across every carrier and you can see the stress on last mile delivery.  The only way to bridge the labor gap is through autonomy.
  • The notion of autonomous vehicles causing accidents is really quite the opposite.  Both aerial drones and unmanned autonomous vehicles have significant operational time under their belts and have proven to be safer than manned operation in the same scenarios.
  • Concerns over privacy and crowded roads and airspace are not warranted.  There are strong laws in effect dealing with privacy.  With regulation and oversight, the cost of violating confidence will not be worth the risk.  Autonomous delivery opens a 24/7/365 delivery window, which will act to reduce and even out aerial and terrestrial traffic flows.  This will serve to consistently spread out the demand over time and space.

At the heart of it all, the autonomous delivery ecosystem will only be complete when it has a secure, smart mailbox that consolidates all delivery to one point.  That platform is Dronedek.  Dronedek is platform-agnostic and that means that we are welcoming to all shippers and deliverers.  When the mailbox was first developed in 1858, it was out of a need to secure and protect items from horse and buggy traffic, theft, road mud and weather.  Today, more than ever, as we take delivery of high value items, food, beverage, pharmaceuticals and even cannabis, it is paramount that all delivered items or items to be shipped are secured.  Dronedek is the new smart mailbox.  Dronedek is your one delivery point that will interface with aerial drone delivery, unmanned autonomous vehicle delivery, robotic delivery, and conventional delivery as well as the mailman.

Autonomously getting items to you is just a part of the process.  Everything gained through cost-effective, fast, and efficient autonomous delivery is lost in your yard or the front of your business without the ability to safeguard your stuff.

One thing I know is that no wholesale autonomous delivery will happen at scale without a secure, smart mailbox in the ecosystem.

I am so optimistic about the future.  Better, faster, fresher, cheaper are all metrics that deliver on the promise of autonomy.

I write this with the backdrop of being the CEO at Dronedek.  All the thoughts detailed herein are real-life concerns and issues that we think about every day.  I can tell you that there are so many exciting and new technologies evolving every single day.  With every 1% of shipped items being delivered autonomously to a Dronedek in the US, we will take 3000 trucks off the road.  The domino effect of that is staggering.  Less greenhouse gases, less road repair, lower fuel costs, less accidents, less injuries, less deaths, lower insurance costs and working to be carbon neutral by 2050, that’s Drondek!

This is our time, and this is the best time.

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