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The United States is officially entering the second air revolution

The US Department of Transportation announced that ten states in the United States will cooperate with the federal government and with private companies, with the aim of starting to use drones for various purposes. The initial focus will be on operating drones at night, transporting packages, flying over people and flying long distances.

Google's future urban airport - concept image. Originally from Uber.
Google's future urban airport - concept image. Originally from Uber.

If you are a regular follower of the blog, you probably already know that I have high hopes for the future of drones in human society. Back in 2015-2016, when I wrote the book "Controlling the Future", I included an entire chapter about a future that is only one decade away from us, in which you can find a cloud of drones in the sky of every city. They will carry loads and packages from place to place, provide emergency medical services within minutes, and may even provide air transport services (As Uber has already promised to deliver).

It turns out that not only I think about these things, but also the United States government, which decided to adopt the drones into its fold. This week the US Department of Transportation announced that ten governments in the United States will cooperate with the federal government and with private companies, with the aim of starting to use drones for various purposes. The initial focus will be on operating drones at night, transporting packages, flying over people and flying long distances.

Ten companies were chosen to lead the cooperation between the municipalities, governments and industry. Here are some of the more interesting ventures that will start running already this year.

Uber and Google are preparing for air transportation
The new CEO of Uber recently clarified that "Uber cannot concentrate only on cars. She must concentrate on the movement.And Uber is doing exactly that: trying to find new ways to transport objects and people in the most efficient way - including by air. Now Uber has revealed that it will be partnering with the city of San Diego to build a system of micro-airports and stations for drones within the city. In the coming months, some of the city's residents will be able to order food from restaurants and receive it from the air directly to their doorstep within a period of time ranging from five to thirty minutes.

Similarly, Google / Alphabet drones will deliver packages to communities in Virginia, and the company Examine how residents use the service[. But Google's ambitions seem more modest than Uber's in the long term, because the taxi company announced that down the road the initial system it is currently developing may also serve as the basis for its future flying taxi service. The CEO of the company clarified that the flying taxi service should begin testing in cities in 2020 (The full launch is expected in 2028).


First aid drones
If you suffer a sudden heart attack in the middle of the street, you will have to wait long minutes for an ambulance. In England you will have to wait 18 minutes on average until the emergency medical services arrive; In New York you will wait only nine minutes, andIn Israel, the waiting times in most large settlements vary between ten and 12 minutes. It's hard to blame the medical services - the ambulance has to travel on roads that are often congested, and cannot pave a path directly to the scene of the incident.

Drones, of course, do not suffer from these limitations. They can advance in a straight line to the scene of the incident - whether it is the middle of the street, a private house or a clearing. While they cannot carry medical personnel (yet), they can carry automated medical equipment, which can be operated by bystanders with no medical knowledge, to provide advanced first aid, such as administering electric shocks and adrenaline injections.

In a study carried out in Stockholm in 2016, it was demonstrated that drones for providing emergency medical care are able to set off within a few seconds of receiving the message, fly at a speed of 75 km/h and reach the destination in only five minutes - a zero period of time compared to the 22 minutes that were required for ambulances to reach those destinations.

The Flirty company is now starting to implement the service in four cities in the United States, and to launch advanced medical equipment using drones - Automatic defibrillators - for people suffering from a heart attack. If the service is successful, we will surely see it expand to other cities and countries already in the near future.

Drone-ambulance concept of the Ergodzine company.

Service drones for airports
Drones are known to be one of the biggest fears of pilots today. In recent years, hundreds of incidents have been reported A 'near-collision' between drones and passenger planesM. But what if it were possible to combine drone and airplane traffic at the same airport? FedEx, General Electric and Intel are trying to work together with Memphis International Airport to create a drone system that will operate at the airport itself. The drones are supposed to patrol along the airport fences, transport small aircraft parts in the field, inspect the planes and provide emergency services as needed.

The entrance to the second air revolution
Other uses approved in the federal program include the use of drones To detect mosquito breeding grounds, and monitor agricultural fields and animals. But if we move forward for a moment beyond the specific uses, the federal program authorizes drones in the United States for the first time - experimentally and initially - to fly at night, fly over people's heads at low speed, and fly beyond the drone operator's field of vision. All these permits should allow drones to be integrated into our lives everywhere within a few years. No wonder that according to the International Association for Unmanned Transportation Systems, by 2025 drones will add 100,000 jobs to the American economy - and generate a total value of 82 billion dollars.

All these expected uses suggest that we are now in the early days of the second air revolution. In the first air revolution that started at the beginning of the 20th century, we began to make initial use of the sky with large airplanes that were mainly used for tourism and business. In the second air revolution, the costs associated with air transportation decrease, and the air tools become small, comfortable and safe enough to enter daily use in low brom cities, and integrate into the lives of all the residents.

It is, of course, difficult to predict the future, and it is quite possible that some of the visions associated with the second air revolution will not be fully realized. It is possible, for example, that air taxis will prove too expensive to operate, especially if the transition to autonomous road transport reduces traffic jams and lowers the costs of ground travel. As at the beginning of any revolution, it is still too early to predict unequivocally about its final results. One can only be sure that it is going to dramatically affect our lives in the next twenty years. going to be interesting.

You are invited to read more about the future of drones and the services they will be able to provide us in the books "Hasholit Beimtif", in selected bookstores (and those that are just fine).











8 תגובות

  1. א
    You are right, of course. But, different parts of the world have different laws. For example, in California - passengers have to file a lawsuit against one of the drivers. In the situation you described - the passenger will not receive injuries. Insurance is a separate story. In the entire US, if I have personal insurance then it covers me on any vehicle, and any driver on my vehicle.

    Regarding drones - I don't think the situation is complicated. If I fly a drone and hurt you - I am guilty. If I think the manufacturer is at fault, then it will be my problem to sue them. And if there are enough cases - then the state will sue the manufacturer. And it is not - different from a car.

    The big problem is how Israel will treat this innovation. Meanwhile, she blunders awkwardly. See entries "electric scooter", "electric bicycle", "vaccines", "alternative medicine" and even "smoking".

  2. Miracles
    What you said is broadly true, but in the world of law it is more complex.
    In vehicles, for example, all bodily damage to anyone in the vehicle and anyone injured by the vehicle (as long as he was not in another vehicle at the time) is automatically the responsibility of the driver (who of course must have mandatory insurance that will pay the damages) and it does not matter who is really "at fault" or who was negligent or not. Even if you are hit by a truck that ran a red light at 150 Kmash, the body damage of the hitchhiker you collected is on you.
    Let's go back to drones, it is very possible that like a car they will also require insurance by law, which of course will make their use more expensive. This sounds necessary, otherwise in the event of an accident, the victim will have to wage an arduous legal battle between the operator, the manufacturer, and perhaps other entities that will try to escape responsibility (this is exactly why there is the law on vehicles, to prevent a situation where an accident occurs, it is necessary to prove who is at fault. That is why it was determined that the driver is always "at fault" and always insured. Those who actually pay the victims of road accidents are all the drivers through the mandatory insurances)
    All this, of course, regardless of criminal proceedings if a driver broke the law or was negligent (which is of less interest to those who are in a hospital.

  3. To be significant the drone requires a big improvement in battery capacity.
    Today they only fly for a very short time and only with little weight.
    All the flying "taxi" for example can't make more than one or two "trips" without recharging and that too usually with only one passenger.
    There is nothing to talk about flying from city to city, not even for transferring a small package.

  4. Nostradamus
    That's a good question, but how is it different from a car?

    The answer is simple - whoever broke the law is guilty. Come hear a true story.

    Years ago, a fighter jet shot at a demonstration and hit a soldier in the leg. On the face of it - the team is to blame, right? But in this case the team wins. Who is punished is this: the structure leader, the squadron commander and the base commander! Why? Because each of them violated procedures and allowed the malfunction to happen. The punishments were very severe.

  5. Roy... You see right.. Another use for a drone.. Throwing a lifebuoy in the sea into nature..

  6. Nostradamus

    You raised the right question. Such a question requires an answer in the legal and insurance fields. How about writing an article about it?

  7. Everything will be beautiful and wonderful until the first drone that falls on someone's head, who will be responsible the manufacturer, the importer or the operator?

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