Drone Life News – Great News for American Drone Manufacturers, Drone Delivery Updates, Police Drones
As always, is the famous editor in chief of dronelife.com miss miriam mcnabb miriam? How are you doing today? Excellent excellent always happy to be here happy to be here as well and for everyone listening out there if weve got some important updates in the news this week. In fact, that blue s, u a s issue! Well, it might have just been solved, which really brings us to our first piece of news: Music, as it seems like the blue suas list of well approved, quote unquote. Drone models for the domestic american market might just be getting that necessary expansion. Mary miriam excuse me: uh whats, the story here, so i dont know if it solved the problem, but at least it has definitely been making progress so uh the dui, the defense innovation unit, diu, sorry about that has announced um, blue suas, 2.0 and thats a list Of 11 vendors now, in this case the previous blue suas list, blue suas 1.0 – was a list of only five uh drone models, not approved manufacturers, but approved drone models. That was problematic. It was problematic really because the general services administration of the us picked that up and said that you couldnt purchase um drones under kind of ongoing contracts unless they were included on the blue suas list. Obviously, a limited list, so blue suas 2.0, is what the diu is describing as a pilot project and that pilot project is designed to develop a new prototype for onboarding approved drone technology.
So again, its a pilot project, its not a done deal, but it is sort of moving in the right direction. It does demonstrate an effort to expand that list of approved drones to provide a good and reasonable way for new drone technology providers to get themselves tested. Get themselves on the list to ensure that their drones, if they do meet the requirements, are included uh on the list of kind of drones approved by the gsa for purchase. Now i think its really awesome uh that theres finally like this system to really review and uh and investigate other alternatives and options, because it seems like a lot of the existing models are limited in scope and even availability. So it was exciting to really see wingtra on there. It was also very exciting to see easy aerial and easy aerial was uh. Actually one of those drones was developed by one of our previous drone. U instructors so excited uh to see that and excited that theres, a new system and uh. Hopefully no one has a dui at d iu, yes, indeed, and uh yeah. It is so many great um us based drone manufacturers, new ones coming out all the time. So really good to to um see a way of kind of providing that level playing field so that all of them can present their offerings for government purchase totally totally. No, i think its really good, i think its a positive step in the right direction and excited that they got the the ball rolling, as this has been a topic that we have discussed a few times before, so glad that there are changes uh in the works.
Now, speaking of changes in the works, this brings us to our next story. Music. Many of you have probably heard of the chula vista police department, as they have well theyve, attained more waivers to fly drones and have been really pushing the envelope in how public safety has been using drones. But now it seems like they are doing even more to keep their flight records and data as transparent as they can be, which is probably a touchy and uh controversial subject as the reporting efforts are vastly different, depending on how any given public safety department operates, whether They operate under a coa which they are reporting standards for or if they operate under 107, which there are no reporting standards for so miriam whats, uh whats, this transparency for police departments and uh and whats specifically going on at chula vista. So this is an interesting story. I think chula vista has always been interesting to watch because they were among the first to develop that drone as first responder kind of program. They really did sort of push the envelope and serve as a pilot project for drones in police and theyve done a really good job in trying very hard to communicate with their local community, their local stakeholders about how theyre, using drones, to educate people in advance of Um using drones in the community and so theyre theyre, really trying to kind of set a standard for responsible drone use. Drone use that is transparent to the community.
Drone use that sort of makes their community comfortable with the fact that theyre using drones for their benefit. So this announcement was simply that they were using now a product called air data to provide reporting to the community to provide transparency about where they are flying in the community. And i think that the real message here is um. Chula vista has been kind of setting standards for how drones are used uh in the public safety world um again they were one of the first to implement that sort of drone. As first responder type of program, theyve received a lot of waivers and support from the faa to test out new ideas, but at the same time they were very early to recognize that without community support they werent going to be able to to use these drones to Their best advantage, they werent going to be able to utilize drone technology to its to its capacity. So i think that this is their next step in sort of providing real tools to give transparency to the community, and it will be interesting to see if other departments um adopt similar technologies either either the one that chula vista is using or other ones to provide. That level of transparency to the community, as you pointed out and um, you know, thats something i wasnt aware of. As you pointed out, there are sometimes standards for reporting and sometimes there arent. So, to some extent you know these police departments um, if theyre trying to provide full transparency, theyre actually doing more than what an faa or authority standard would require so theyre just saying hey, we want to put it out there for our community.
We want everybody to know what were doing so that they can support us yeah its very, very interesting, to say the least, and you know kind of hitting that subject of reporting standards. You know it is really all over the place. I mean, even if you think, about public safety agencies flying under a koa, currently theres no guidance as to how to do training for new pilots legally under that koa they would actually have to do it under 107.. So you know theres, so its almost like a classification tree of you know if you fly under a code, you do this. Do that do this? Do that so um? I think it is good that they are. They are kind of trying to uh to maybe set the standard or just maybe be more transparent um, but i also wonder uh, you know what does the transparency cover? Does it also cover things like uh training, fights and whatnot, because you know for officers who are really learning to fly and whatnot theres got to be a little bit of a margin of error so that they can uh? You know not be judged, i guess, in their training process, so that they can make mistakes and learn from them. So that way, when theyre in the field theyre making the right decisions, so i think overall, great right. I also uh also curious as far as uh, where this transparency starts and ends. Yeah itll be interesting to see so um.
You know, i think air data gave um some examples. There were some good images included uh to show you the kind of information that they are providing. You know, obviously, as a public safety agency, you have to balance the safety of your officers and ongoing operat. You know an ongoing mission and transparency to the community and so forth, but again just to to go back to that. I think that chula vista has done a really good job of saying: hey were putting um, you know our community first were saying: listen. We want you to be comfortable, we want to be fully transparent about what were doing. We want you to know whats going on and probably that requires setting their own standards, which may evolve over time and um. You know well see how many other agencies adopt them. I think you make a very good point. You know youre in the trenches sort of training, public safety agencies, trying to figure out exactly what to tell them on on what they can and cant do and – and you know throughout the drone industry were really in this. In this sort of gap period right were developing regulations very, very quickly, um. I know it. Doesnt seem like that to people, but but compared to historical processes with new technology uh, the drone industry. The faa is really developing regulations very quickly and there are bound to be things that sort of get worked out along the way its not what anybody wants to hear, but its the truth.
It is, it is definitely the truth, miriam definitely the truth, uh well. Moving on to our next piece of drone news, Music miriam, it seems like i got to just take credit here really fast, but it seems like we were right in our prediction that amazon would be utilizing their drone delivery service to onboard more local and regional stores And suppliers and utilizing their last mile delivery, their drone delivery to really support more well, should i say more merchants, through the walmart network and its really interesting to see that wing is now developing. It looks like drone hubs on top of malls, so miriam whats really going on here with wing bringing drone hubs to malls. I mean we knew about amazons. You know bumblebee nest, idea and everything that they were doing, but it sure seems like walmart, has been crushing amazon when it comes to the reality of drone delivery. So whats going on here. Okay, so we got walmart, weve got amazon and then weve got wing, which is what were talking about today, and i got ta say that wing i think is, this is kind of just makes so much sense right. So one of the problems with drone delivery – and you and i have had this conversation – you know walmart, you got your supply near your customer right. They have this big advantage. Everybodys near a walmart with amazon. Youve got a few big distribution centers, but youve got to get that supply closer to your customer in order to make sort of last mile delivery practical.
What wing has done is is sort of the best of both worlds. It said were going to support many many merchants by just going to the roof of shopping malls, where all the different merchants already are so much sense. I dont know what rooms of shopping malls are currently used for in my neighborhood, i dont think much. I think that is pretty much available space and it really does uh. It allows smaller merchants, maybe not part of a big chain, maybe not not people who can afford a big investment to utilize drone delivery for their customers in a really easy way. Very convenient works. Well, uh, you know its its centralized just makes so much sense. So theyre testing this out in australia, which is um currently sort of the drone delivery capital of the world, is a suburb of australia, where um, where wing has started their operations and uh boy. I kind of think maybe coming soon to a mall near you, because everybody lives somewhere close to some mall. So somehow this could really be a great way to get drone delivery from a wide variety of merchants to support not just kind of the starbucks, but also the the local coffee merchants. You know not just the large clothing stores, but maybe some of the smaller ones too, in a lot of different areas. Thank you also for the correction. I uh erroneously say you know compared uh walmart and wing together and i totally throw delivery were always talking about trying now.
So thank you for attracting me nicely. I do appreciate that, but yeah i mean, i think its really interesting, like you said, utilizing existing infrastructure like a central hub of stores and provide a standardized delivery mechanism to empower those stores to deliver faster. I mean we all know when we have increased convenience, that purchasing uh tends to increase along with that convenience, so i have to say its uh, its really interesting. I would really love to see more of this in the united states. You know, i know a lot of these companies. Even domestic based companies are having to go abroad to test this stuff, and it really is reminiscent of the beginning days of aviation. You know with the wright brothers developing the first airplane and because of united states regulators, they couldnt even sell it here in the united states they sold the first one in france, so the uh. The pattern of history continues here miriam but uh. It is exciting. Nonetheless, it really is – and you know i wrote an article a couple years ago – uh sort of why i thought um beyond burritos. You know why food drone delivery when youre delivering pizzas and youre talking about delivering starbucks, coffee and youre delivering these things. Why does that matter? You know because its easy for us to think about hey. You know zipline out in africa, delivering blood samples. There are drone delivery heroes, youve got wing, copter, doing great work, youve got um, you know, ups, doing great work on medical campuses, all kinds of great work being done to deliver sort of health supplies and life saving supplies, but really delivering things like girl scout cookies And library, books and coffee, like wing has done, may be sort of the average suburban americans first experience with drone delivery in a positive way, like hey theres, a drone in the sky.
Its coming to me for my benefit, it hurts hurts. Nothing gets me, my coffee. I have something familiar mixed with something different. I do think that theres a real purpose for this um in terms of community acceptance of drone technology, which uh you know can do way more than deliver burritos. But if delivering a burrito is the way you get, somebody to say, hey. Drones are okay, its totally worth it well. I could easily argue that unless youre in new mexico, texas or colorado, the quality burrito is probably not as good as it could. You know were not even going to argue that i want to come out there and eat mexican food with you were not even i have maple syrup. We have maple syrup out here in new hampshire. Maybe uh theyll start delivering waffles. So but you know one thing that comes to mind: one ancillary point: to kind of tack on to this. This particular topic is, you know, with doj and the faa not really enforcing uh 18 usc 32 in the destruction of an aircraft, and now that drones are considered aircraft, it makes you wonder if drone delivery here in the united states will spur the enforcement of people, Not shooting down drones or damaging drones. I really wonder if that will be the catalyst to actually have a very defined and official representation from our government as far as what is okay and what is not, because i think that people are still dealing with this issue.
As a whole, so i think it could be. You know. Drone delivery could be really great for suburban nights, but i also think it could be good for us drone pilots. If there is an incident with someone saying hey, i saw amazons drone coming in the box. Looked bigger than normal thought i was going to get a tv shot, the drone down you know, and now the the government gets involved and finally says once and for all. You cannot shoot drones out of the sky, so i know thats, not the uh. I know that wasnt in your article at all and kind of just spitballing here miriam, but i do wonder if, if that would uh be a good thing for us drone pilots look. I have heard the argument over and over again i have to say that i believe it has merit that the more drones are in the air. The better off all of us will be because the more you know we will have the opportunity to meet those occasions that are outside of the norm, uh for good or for bad wed. Never want anything. You know bad to happen to anybody um. You know to anybody on the ground to any of the pilots to any of the drones, but the more that we are able to kind of get up in the air um, with with the best sort of safety, equipment and safety procedures that we possibly can and Meet kind of these extraordinary circumstances and then work out what should happen in those extraordinary circumstances, the better off will ill be and that that has just had to happen with every single new technology that has ever been been developed, and so you know, i think that Uh, the more we get to fly, the more we learn, the more were able to fly safer and and fly better and the more that the communities around are able to realize the benefits.
So you know never want to wish for a bad situation, but i do think that you know the more youre in the air, the better off everybody is and if one person has to lose a burrito or coffees for us to get the government to say you Cant shoot drones out of the sky. I think its a worthwhile thing so trying to steal the caramel macchiato darden. I wanted whipped cream. I wanted a grande Laughter. Oh man were only choking, we know its, not exactly exactly well, you know the airspace getting more congested with more drones. I think will definitely prove just how safe we really are, and that also brings us to our next story as the days of just blissfully buying a drone and flying it wherever you want, may slowly be coming to an end as theres more and more airspace monitoring Going on miriam, what is this story all about and whats going on here, Music? So the the story, the the um original headline of the press – release that i got was really very clever because they tied in their event so monday, night football. But the point is that um, you know were were seeing every big event take into consideration now that they need three dimensional security, that its not enough to have security guards on the ground. Um checking and its not enough to have sort of ccc tv cameras around. But you also need to protect that air space over the monday night football game or the olympics, or you know the u.
s open or whatever the event may be. So i think we are learning that you need airspace monitoring go to the us open, probably not so i think that um, you know, thats really. The point of the story is: is that theres, a company offering airspace monitoring uh over monday night football and um stadiums are implementing this in advance of large events, but i really think that were just gon na see this as normal security procedure for any sporting event. Any big concert um any large, you know conference whatever it is that the idea of three dimensional security – i guess im – not sure, im expressing that correctly, but you know what i mean that you need to bring your security up into the air. Space also is becoming the norm. No definitely it made me think, though, im just getting creative at this point, but it made me think at what point are we going to run into the issue that we go to an nfl game and theyve got drone delivery? Like i want my pizza and beer, you know and it and i i can get that right, but then we got ta, make sure all the other bad drones dont come in and differentiate from the good and the bad. I mean its uh its quickly going to get to that point, but uh, i, i think, thats, absolutely the the point of airspace monitoring, though you know, airspace monitoring is not block all the drones airspace monitoring is authorized and not authorized.
I got the beer. Drone is okay, the guy trying to take a picture over here of some random player or to steal. The ball is not okay. Definitely, we uh its definitely gon na get exciting in the years to come. That is for sure, well miriam. Thank you. So much the show was a lot of fun. I really appreciate uh, you know doing this with you every week and uh and i just have to say thank you again. My pleasure see you next week sounds good miriam and thank you to all of you. Listening watching commenting do greatly appreciate having you here. If you are a drone, you member, you can now comment on the news shows in our new app, which is actually im surprised its doing very, very well as far as engagement is concerned. So thank you to everyone who supports the show and supports drone. You drone. You was built to help. You live the drone life, so thank you so much, and i know that dronelife.com is, is also made to help people uh do the same thing miriam right. Its very lucky that were friends and he hasnt sued us over the use of the name drone life, because i think he wrote his book and we started our site right about the same time. This is a good opportunity to showcase to people that you know you can build friendships and relationships and work through these things rather than fight and have lawsuits, because i mean we have sued people for using the name drone.
You and weve won every single case and its just like, so you know what i think its just a good lesson in todays divided arena of america, that you can work together with people and miriam im. Grateful for you and im grateful that thats never even become an issue so, and i appreciate you bringing it up on the show too so get out there and have fun. People come on theres enough pie for all of us, as they would say so its not about taking a bigger slice of the pie, its about making the pie bigger, but straight thats, gon na.