NEWS

San Diego: a drone delivery test market

San Diego was selected among 10 areas in the United States in which drone delivery will be tested.

San Diego: a drone delivery test market

Pigs could be flying next time you order your bacon burger because the City of San Diego is now a test market for drone delivery, as stated in an announcement by the Federal Aviation Administration in early May. Companies like Amazon, FedEx and Uber have been working to develop a system for drone delivery. While Amazon was not chosen as one of the companies approved for testing, AirMap and Matternet will be involved in San Diego testing, and Uber is working to develop drone landing stations, according to the Department of Transportation.

So, what does this mean for Scripps Ranch residents?

Alan and Diane LaRue, Scripps Ranch residents for 16 years, gave drone delivery a big thumbs-up.

“It would be convenient for delivery of emergency supplies and medicine in the future. I would use it,” Alan said.

Diane was equally enthusiastic about the potential benefits.

“I could see it working,” she said.

They both agreed that the target customer for these services are elderly, seniors and retired people, including themselves, who are concerned about their ability to drive to access these conveniences as they do today.

“It would be convenient to receive medicine and food without leaving your home,” Alan said. “Scripps Ranch is a driving community. You cannot get anything done without a car, but drone delivery can change that.”

On the negative side, Diane said, “to see food and drinks being delivered by drone would be kind of annoying, and the noise would be unbearable. This is one of the main problems I have with drone delivery.”

Raj Rajasekaran, an associate professor of urology at the UCSD Medical Center, had a neutral view on drone delivery.

“Drone delivery is a step forward in technology, but it is too early to decide the impact drone delivery will have on San Diego,” Rajasekaran said. “There should be definite rules on privacy. I would feel uncomfortable if a drone was recording me.”

Though there are parts of this project that are unclear, the main goal is to initiate commercial drone testing. Companies like Qualcomm, AT&T, Intel and others will begin to create the technical and logistical infrastructure needed to allow the drones to fly.

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