It’s a remote possibility, but so are lighting strikes, and those kill about 50 people per year. Of course, lightning has the benefit of being an uncontrollable product of nature.
Were there no alternative, it might be a case where the public simply had to suck it up and deal with the risks. However, with a trio of safe, viable delivery-to-door services readily available though, one Amazon drone-driven death is bound to be viewed as one too many.
#3: When it’s all said and done, autonomous drones can’t do complex jobs, or adapt, as well as people.
Litmus test: Would you ever fly in an airplane that didn’t have a pilot on board, but instead was flown wheels-up to wheels-down by a real-live person?
Some people would say “yes,” but most people know the value of a real pilot (or pilots) is in being there to solve problems that aren’t programmed or put into an algorithm.
Well, surprise! Amazon’s airborne ferries are intended to be unmanned and unpiloted.
That might be OK in the controlled setting of, say, the parking lot of Amazon’s R&D center. It would be a little unnerving, however, to know that unmanned and unpiloted Amazon drones made regular passes over the playground of your kids’ school.
There’s a reason people still do exceedingly important and potentially dangerous jobs — people remain better at them than computers.
Or, think about it like this.
Delivery drones can’t ring a doorbell, retrieve a signature or nestle a package behind a storm door on a rainy day. But Amazon’s deliveries are primarily going to be metropolitan areas, mostly to apartment buildings and office buildings? That’s even worse. How’s the service going to do any better than drop the parcel at the front door of what’s apt to be a very big and well-trafficked building?
Amazon drones face a host of problems in addition to what’s been mentioned above. A few other serious considerations include a litany of regulatory hurdles, as well as what happens when people start trying to knock these drones down for their payloads.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.