A giant leap for mankind or a hazardous lurch into the unknown? A tiny Australian venture is racing to rule the skies – as drone companies vie to deliver mail, medicines, and margherita pizza to your door.
See footage captured by drones and their crash landings. Initial exposure to drones was their use by the West in foreign lands; there are now over 1 million commercial drones. Ambitious Australians see a future where drone delivery is ubiquitous.
Cycles of boom and bust left Nevada with the most ghost towns in America. Flirtey is the first company to make a commercial drone delivery. The University of Nevada Reno's research lab produces many drone parts on 3D printers; NASA helped Flirtey design air traffic system for drones.
Sweeney first experimented with drone technology in China; he has always wanted to be an entrepreneur. See a promotional video for a delivery drone.
Sweeney and his team provided the first drone delivery to the President of the Aviation Authority and garnered a $1 million deal. Companies around the world are pushing to use drones. Richard Kelley was initially skeptical about drone deliveries.
The drone consumer industry in the U.S. is pushing for more trials; Nevada is one of six test sites. Flirtey relocated to the U.S. and partnered with Kelley. See the first drone delivery allowed by the FAA.
The possibilities of an out of control drone or rogue operator are at the core of the struggle between the drone industry and the FAA. Mike Whitaker of the FAA works to integrate drones into national air space. See footage of a congressional hearing on drones.
The FAA agrees that drone use serves a purpose, but it will take time before every day deliveries are allowed; Whitaker cites stakeholder engagement. Kelley states that the biggest challenge is the "safety case;" fail-safe crashing technology is in the works. Commercial operators advertise services they do not yet have permission to perform.
Michael Drobac lobbies for the Small UAV Coalition that wants commercial services in areas beyond visual line of sight. Whitaker addresses criticism that the FAA is too slow; the FAA wants to move quickly to a delivery model.
Commercial operators push forward to produce improved delivery drones and drone technology. Sweeney and his team test at the first suburban drone delivery test site in front of investors. Sweeney reflects on being in a start-up.
Game Of Drones (DVD)
Time: 29 Minutes