Innovation vs Public Safety

pc747

Regular Member
Rescue Squad
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
25,489
Reaction score
6,865
1385949215000-AmazonPrimeAir.JPG

There has been this back and forth debate between the FAA and Amazon about Amazon wanting to use a drone program for delivering goods door to door. Amazon voiced wanting the FAA to follow Europe's lead (Amazon says the FAA is so slow the delivery drone it approved is already obsolete The Verge which I must interject in saying our aviation safety record is much better than that of the programs overseas. In fact as much as the FAA has caught heat over the years they have done an awesome job cracking down on companies and keeping aviation safe especially in the area of public transportation. But I have to ask do you side with Amazon on allowing innovation or do you oppose the idea of drone technology outside of the military and law enforcement?

My opinion is I side with the fed's on this one. We already have a crowded airspace as it is and now we want to add drones to the mix. The other issue that has to be taken in to account is liability. With drones it is a matter of when one crash into someone's house or a place of business. I just do not feel like public greed to have something right now should outweigh public safety.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

obxsalvo

Silver Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
557
Reaction score
211
Location
Hatteras Is. NC
Current Phone Model
Droid Turbo
I have to agree with PC 747 on this.
Having spent many years dodging birds flying Police and EMS missions.
 

johnomaz

Silver Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
3,187
Reaction score
633
Location
Central Valley, California
Current Phone Model
Google Pixel 2XL
I personally dont' think delivery drones are necessary for a few reasons. One, if you need something so fast that it has to be delivered by drone, get off your butt and go to a store. Sorry, but come on. Quads are inherently dangerous. I have one...two....ok....three and I can tell you that even the little micro ones you get from the store can cut you with their propellers. My pinky has a cut right now from my micro drone. My 250mm size drone can do WAY more damage. I'm using cheapy propellers because of cost and I'm still in the learning phase of controlling it (seriously, left = right, right = left, back = front and etc. is mind bending confusing sometimes) and those cheap props can cut you enough to require stitches. Carbon fiber props can do even more damage. They don't bend. Someone could get hurt by them on accident or intentionally to sue Amazon. It'll put a bad name on them and my favorite hobby will come under fire big time. Last, exactly what will be delivered. Drones can only move so much weight. If these things are going to be the size of a trash can hovering over my head, no thank you. batteries die and I'm sure Amazon and whoever else does it will put big batteries in them, but wind plays a big factor on how long the batteries last. Oh, did I mention the noise? They are stupid loud! My 250mm quad can be 100+ feet away and it still sounds like a swarm of bees.

I just don't think its a good idea.
 

chevycam94

SteelDroid ROM / Cortex ROM Developer
Developer
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
1,616
Reaction score
153
Location
Central Ohio
Website
steelroms.com
Current Phone Model
Nexus 6P, VZW Note Edge, D1
Heres another thing. I KNOW my dad would do this. What about people hunting these things down, and literally knocking them out of the sky, and keeping the parts and/or the whole unit, for themselves? If its going to drop a small box at my doorstep, all I have to do is walk up to it, and grab it, and its mine, nothing it can do about it. Now I have a really expensive toy, that I didnt even have to pay for (minus the price of whatever it was that was being dropped off to me). Theft would be a HUGE problem.
 

Jonny Kansas

Administrator
Staff member
Rescue Squad
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
16,740
Reaction score
7,355
Location
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Website
www.google.com
Current Phone Model
Pixel XL
Twitter
jonny_ks
I think the answer to people hunting them down/capturing them is a simple one. GPS units. Hidden, embedded, nearly indestructible if possible. Of course, as soon as someone gets a hold of one of these things, it'll be all over the internet where you can find the GPS unit. Even still. If you capture one, what are you going to do with it? It's not going to bring you the remote control with it, so it'll take some hacking/reprogramming to get it to respond to a remote that you have instead of the control system that was built in and hard-wired to it.

As for these things crashing into buildings or people, I guess I don't quite understand how they work. Are the supposed to be autonomous, or are they hiring pilots to monitor them/fly them to their destination? I agree that they're going to be huge to be able to carry the weight of their power source AND a decent sized package, but it would seem to me that sensors in the right places could help alleviate most of that risk. Sure, there's still going to be wind and other weather factors and sensors aren't fool-proof, but I don't see this being nearly the size of an issue that others seem to think.

As for our airspace, I don't picture these things flying at the heights that traditional aircraft do, but again, I don't know all of the specifics on them. It seems to me, they could fly much lower than manned aircraft and would only run a risk of colliding with those near airports. Again, it seems like this could be avoided via beacons and/or other sensors.

Do I think we're ready to have these things delivering packages this week? Definitely not, but I think it's a great dream. Even if it never materializes into a real thing, it should bode well for those of us who're into drones and provide with some extra innovation in the design/abilities of these toys. (I only have the one and it was lost in the snow for most of the winter, but my fiance found it after the thaw and the sucker still works.)
 

Sajo

Diamond Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
20,784
Reaction score
16,937
Location
Tennessee
Current Phone Model
Pixel 7 Pro
Heres another thing. I KNOW my dad would do this. What about people hunting these things down, and literally knocking them out of the sky, and keeping the parts and/or the whole unit, for themselves? If its going to drop a small box at my doorstep, all I have to do is walk up to it, and grab it, and its mine, nothing it can do about it. Now I have a really expensive toy, that I didnt even have to pay for (minus the price of whatever it was that was being dropped off to me). Theft would be a HUGE problem.

I know a few people that would do the same or similar: shoot it full of holes...just because or grab it and tie firecrackers to it. I'm not saying that is right by any means. It's not. But I do know people that would do that, cameras or not.
 

Sajo

Diamond Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
20,784
Reaction score
16,937
Location
Tennessee
Current Phone Model
Pixel 7 Pro
I agree with a lot of the things already said here. This is a great idea by Amazon, and could be a reality in the not too distant future. But right now I have to side with the FAA. In addition to the concerns mentioned in earlier posts, there are other safety concerns that have to be accounted for. Who is flying these things? If they are operated by people, will they be properly trained and certified like all pilots? If they are autonomous, who certifies that the programming conforms to FAA Airspace rules & regulations? They probably will fly pretty low, but so do all aircraft when they are taking off & landing. We can't just have an Amazon drone wonder into controlled airspace accidentally while other aircraft are taking off, landing, circling, etc. I think the FAA should select one city, county, or area and approve the Amazon drones for testing. Have all the right people involved (safety experts, aviation experts) and spend some time testing these in a controlled, regulated area and see how it goes.
 

dgstorm

Editor in Chief
Staff member
Premium Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
10,991
Reaction score
3,961
Location
Austin, TX
I agree with most of the sentiments here. I like that Amazon is thinking outside the box in order to improve customer service, but the drone thing is a bad idea. It will simply never fly... (pun intended) :D
 

Jeffrey

Premium Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
6,645
Reaction score
3,511
Location
Thailand
Current Phone Model
iPhone 7 Plus JB
I agree with most of the sentiments here. I like that Amazon is thinking outside the box in order to improve customer service, but the drone thing is a bad idea. It will simply never fly... (pun intended) :D
You got to wonder what these guys are thinking.. They could use a Risk Management seminar.
 

chevycam94

SteelDroid ROM / Cortex ROM Developer
Developer
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
1,616
Reaction score
153
Location
Central Ohio
Website
steelroms.com
Current Phone Model
Nexus 6P, VZW Note Edge, D1
Overall the drone idea is just bad. Theres so many flaws in it, its a wonder this made it past 5 seconds in the meeting room. Bad programming, power interruptions (FCC part 13), active airspace, theft, limits on delivery size/weight, no human interaction with drones, the list goes on.

Simply a BAD idea. Cute, and maybe cool in movies where EVERYTHING is perfect, but thats not reality.
 

cr6

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
8,281
Reaction score
5,802
Location
NW Rocky Mtn region
Website
www.dronewolfmedia.com
Current Phone Model
Galaxy S7 Edge
Twitter
@dronewolfmedia
I agree with everyone else.... I don't think this is a very smart method of delivery for all the reasons mentioned above. While it's great to see Amazon working on this type of technology, there are way too many variables that can cause things to go wrong. As Jonny mentioned, I also don't see these being shot out of the sky all that often. Sure, some drunk guy will do it and he'll be made an example of by law enforcement, but the fact is, this delivery method (if it DOES come to fruition) will only be used in large metropolitan and well populated areas. So the same laws will apply in regards to discharging a firearm in a populated area. There would obviously be a 360 degree camera on this drone as well as GPS, so getting away with something like this would be slim to none. Are you really willing to loose your right to carry or own a firearm for the rest of your life in order to get a new phone, tablet, computer cable, or whatever may be in the package that's being delivered? That is if you haven't put a hole in it by firing on it and it wasn't damage when it crashed to the ground.
So yeah, I really don't see this being a big problem.....at least from anyone with half a brain.

S5 tap'n
 

SquireSCA

Silver Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
1,571
Reaction score
226
Location
Atlanta, GA
A really dumb idea.

There is no way this would end well, with these things flying all over the place. There will be failures, you will see these things crashing, and then they have to send someone out to retrieve it and repair it... Can you imagine one of these things failing and dropping out of the sky from 100 feet?

If I am out riding my bike and get hit and it causes me to crash, someone is writing me a huge check. LOL
 
OP
pc747

pc747

Regular Member
Rescue Squad
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
25,489
Reaction score
6,865
A really dumb idea.

There is no way this would end well, with these things flying all over the place. There will be failures, you will see these things crashing, and then they have to send someone out to retrieve it and repair it... Can you imagine one of these things failing and dropping out of the sky from 100 feet?

If I am out riding my bike and get hit and it causes me to crash, someone is writing me a huge check. LOL
That is the big key. The question is not if it crashes, but when it crashes?
Whether it be pilot error, mechanical error, or it being hit by a bird it will come down and any aviator will tell you that altitude is our friend as it allows you time to plan and more room to ditch.
There is a reason why we have a FAA and NTSB and it is to not only control our airspaces but create regs that keep air space and travel safe which is why America has the safety record it has. Here is the other thing you have to look at, if you allow Amazon then you have to allow Best Buy, and some other mom and pop start up business, which sadly can lead to terrorist attacks if in the hands of the wrong person. Regulations have to be put in place that certifies who can fly it, what altitude, what equipment must be on board, and how to protect people and property. There is a reason we have altitude restrictions which is to protect people and property. Lastly people say this will be tried in a large metropolitan area, yeah that is a great idea try it out where you have more chances of harming people or property. It would actually be wise to try it in a rural area where if it has a mechanical failure it can deck in the woods somewhere.
Sorry, but I just do not think our greed is worth public safety. Especially when you can get in your car and drive to a store.

One area though that you can try this out is at bars or restaurants where if it fails it only harms the patrons and property inside the building.
 

SquireSCA

Silver Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
1,571
Reaction score
226
Location
Atlanta, GA
That is the big key. The question is not if it crashes, but when it crashes?
Whether it be pilot error, mechanical error, or it being hit by a bird it will come down and any aviator will tell you that altitude is our friend as it allows you time to plan and more room to ditch.
There is a reason why we have a FAA and NTSB and it is to not only control our airspaces but create regs that keep air space and travel safe which is why America has the safety record it has. Here is the other thing you have to look at, if you allow Amazon then you have to allow Best Buy, and some other mom and pop start up business, which sadly can lead to terrorist attacks if in the hands of the wrong person. Regulations have to be put in place that certifies who can fly it, what altitude, what equipment must be on board, and how to protect people and property. There is a reason we have altitude restrictions which is to protect people and property. Lastly people say this will be tried in a large metropolitan area, yeah that is a great idea try it out where you have more chances of harming people or property. It would actually be wise to try it in a rural area where if it has a mechanical failure it can deck in the woods somewhere.
Sorry, but I just do not think our greed is worth public safety. Especially when you can get in your car and drive to a store.

One area though that you can try this out is at bars or restaurants where if it fails it only harms the patrons and property inside the building.

I don't think that the terrorist thing applies here, because nothing can prevent that. Lots of people have drones and fly them around for recreation, filming, etc... Any terrorist can go buy a drone, strap a little C4 and ball bearings to it and fly it into a school yard, outdoor concert or whatever...

I think that with Amazon, it is the VOLUME of stuff, and it is just so unnecessary. Like someone else said, if there is something that you need right now, get off your fat ass and go get it. LOL
 

Valvoline

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
251
Reaction score
40
Its not gong to work (for now) even if it was just for the playful excitement factor. People would be so enamored by it, they'd drive off the road when they see one. Kids would chase it and run in the road, or gather under it, denying it to make a delivery. injuries, damages, theft, corrupt GPS, operator error, to many liabilities. Mission impossible is not impossible anymore, were just not ready yet
 
Top