Drones have been in the news a lot over the last few years. Once a very fancy and expensive item, drones have become much more affordable. Some drones are now priced under $100. For a few hundred dollars, you can purchase a drone with a camera and other sophisticated features. Because they have become much more common, the FAA is busy trying to figure out how drones fit into the air space.
I can someday see the USPS delivering some mail using specialized drones. It may require specialized mailboxes that open from the top instead of the front. The drone will come by, lift the lid on the mailbox, deposit the mail, and close the lid and move on to the next address.
We are on the verge of having cars that can drive themselves. The technology is not perfect yet, but we keep getting better at it. Once the technology is perfected for automobiles, can drones be far behind at flying by themselves in very controlled situations?
When I was growing up, I remember watching old reruns of Flash Gordon with my dad. Flash Gordon would rocket around in this crazy spaceship. At the time the TV show was made (1954), people probably laughed at the possibility of rocketing around outer space. Fifteen years later, we landed a man on the moon and safely returned him to Earth.
Drones are very much still in their infancy. Like many things, they will improve over time as the technology continues to evolve.
Someday the “mailman” will drive up to a street corner and park. He’ll load a half dozen drones with mail destined for a few dozen addresses. He’ll send the drones on their way. They’ll fly up and down the nearby streets and deliver the mail at six times the pace that a single mail person could deliver the mail. The drones will finish their route and return to the mail vehicle. The person drives a half mile down the street, loads up the drones again for the next set of streets and send them on their way.
The mailman will be needed for delivering large packages or other exceptions where the drone cannot make its delivery (e.g., a curbside mailbox that was damaged by a car accident and the mail needs to be delivered to the front door).
Is this coming in the next 20 years? The next 50 years? I don’t know. But I think eventually the traditional street delivery methods we’ve used for the last nearly 200 years will come to an end.
Delivering mail to each home and business is very costly. Technological advances, such as drones, may someday change the way we receive our mail. What do you think?