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Monday, October 28, 2019

Drones are Filling the Skies

A broad piece in the WSJ on how major players are examining, testing and using drones.  And the methods they are using to make this all work.

The Drones Are Coming! How Amazon, Alphabet, Uber Are Taking to the Skies
The Wall Street Journal
By Sebastian Herrera; Alberto Cervantes
October 25, 2019

Companies including Amazon, Alphabet's Wing, and Uber, are launching more advanced trials of drone delivery. Wing started tests in Christiansburg, VA, this month, while Uber will set up experiments in San Diego before the end of the year. Amazon said last June it would begin delivering packages to consumers via drone "within months." The companies have to overcome a number of obstructions and concerns before drone delivery can become widespread. Amazon uses machine learning algorithms and infrared sensors to detect obstacles like birds and wires, and programs its drones with scenarios (such as when a delivery location cannot be detected), and commands to follow in such scenarios. Wing, meanwhile, has tested its drone north of Helsinki under snowy and windy conditions; its drone has built-in wind sensors and is waterproof. A challenge that remains is that no standard exists on how drones can identify and communicate with each other while in flight, so drone delivery by multiple companies in the same area is not currently possible. ... ' 

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