- Anyone welcoming a new age of drone commercialization might be disheartened at Gartner's latest report on the technology, which forecasts drone delivery won’t be a factor for several years. Even then, the research firm suggested drone deliveries will make up just 1% of the commercial drone market in 2020, as reported by Fortune.
- Aside from regulatory tie-ups, one fundamental issue is that drones simply don’t have the battery power to make multiple deliveries and, in fact, often have difficulty just returning to their home base, per Gartner.
- But on the regulatory end, President Donald Trump's mandates might further impede drone progress, according to Recode. The National Transportation Safety Board classified drones as aircraft in 2014 which places them under the auspices of the FAA. Trump introduced an executive order where, for every new regulation introduced, two must be rescinded, which potentially puts huge obstacles in the way of the FAA creating more drone-friendly rules.
Drone delivery has been hotly anticipated for a number of years for various businesses, as it has the potential to open up entirely new omnichannel and shipping capabilities. The latest news suggests that the amount of mindshare the technology gets might not translate to actual industry application any time soon.
Some speculated that Trump would prove a boon for the space given his stance against heavy regulations coming from groups like the FAA. The FAA has been criticized by some for being overly restrictive in regards to commercial drone practices but Trump's executive order may become even more of a hindrance as the headache of rescinding old guidelines for every new one introduced could prove cumbersome.
Outside of regulations, drones appear to be another technology that sounds cool on paper but is often over hyped by the media and businesses excited about its potential, if Gartner's predictions are to be believed. Amazon, who teased its Prime Air service at this year's Super Bowl, has been at the front of the conversation around drones, yet only completed its first commercial delivery in December.