Amazon.com revealed plans on 60 Minutes to deliver purchases in the future using drone technology.
It is just one example of how drones may soon lead to significant changes in our way of life.
Flying vehicles made life better for the Jetson’s but the advancing use of drones could lead to invasions of privacy and safety concerns. Those are just two of the reasons why a state Senator pursued new drone regulations earlier this year.
Already the Greenfield Police Department has a drone for use in accident investigations, searches, and other public safety needs.
Major Derek Towle said, “It’s a tremendous help for me.”
At Indiana State University in Terre Haute you can not only learn to operate a drone, you can get a minor in what’s called Unmanned Systems. “We’re trying to get a four year degree,” said instructor Jeff Hauser. “We’re working on that right now.”
Yet State Senator Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) raised a red flag in January filing a bill to make it a felony to use a drone to invade someone’s privacy. “And then if you would happen to wake up one morning with one of these things through the roof of your house,” he said, “I guarantee you that would be the number one thing in your world.”
Other lawmakers gave him little consideration and the bill didn’t get a hearing. “And I think that’s kind of far fetched,” said Rep. Clyde Kersey (D-Terre Haute.) “That’s going to be way in the future before that takes place.”
But with the news of the Amazon plans, Tomes, reached by phone at his home in southern Indiana, said that time will soon be here. “We will never again have an open sky,” he said, “without some annoying, irritating buzzing of an aerial vehicle transversing across our air spaces.”
A recent report projected that drone technology will have an economic impact on the national economy of $90 billion between now and 2020.
The FAA will soon establish a series of drone test sites and state of Indiana hopes to land one of them. We could learn as soon as next week whether a drone test will be established here.
Matt Konkler is leading the local effort but even he says that some of the concerns raised by Senator Tomes are legitimate.
When it comes to drone technology he says we need to figure out how to do this correctly.