Author Topic: Drone delivery hype  (Read 4938 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #75 on: June 16, 2019, 05:17:01 PM »
This level of change needs to be viewed through the lense of how it will impact climate change too in my opinion.
A few drones here and there? Not great, but surely a blip overall.
A massive infrastructure built to facilitate such a non essential service with a view to further and further roll out?
Personally I think it goes against any real plans we could put in place to reduce carbon emissions. To allow a private company to create such infrastructure (thus having a monopoly on the system in the unlikely event that it is successful) is also a really bad idea.

Right now we have courier services that use cars and motorbikes. If those are replaced with drones, would the carbon impact be increased? I don't think this is a drone issue. I think it's an issue of human economic activity in general and where we get our energy.

Could drones compete with courier services by eliminating the need for a paid driver? Maybe, for small enough items. Maybe for pizza delivery, the one market where people actually pay for fast delivery in large enough numbers to justify the investment in hardware. But you're still going to need drivers for destinations the drone cannot get to.
How will it ever be more energy efficient to lift the entire weight of an object and move it across distance vs moving multiple objects on wheels?
We are already moving toward driverless delivery vehicles so I cant see that increasing or decreasing the number of vehicles required to get goods from A to B.

Even if drones get adopted for luxury parcel delivery, there will still be a requirement for wheeled vehicle delivery so you will only increase the amount of energy consuming vehicles being used to deliver goods.

And again, there is the issue of private monopoly of this stuff should it ever be as successful as people wish it to be.

Often a courier is driving a two-ton car to deliver a half-pound item. That's why it can, sometimes, be more efficient to use a drone. A drone would probably deliver a pizza at a lower carbon footprint than a car. (Though not as low as a bicycle.)

But note that I agree with you that if it ever becomes a reality it will be a luxury for the rich, if they live close enough to the fulfillment center and want something light enough for the drone. The rich already produce a large carbon footprint with luxury items. There's no particular reason to single out drones as a special case. Rather than criticize drones for their environmental footprint it would make more sense to tax the rich 90% of their total wealth, until they were not rich any more and could not afford all those high-carbon luxuries. (I say this, being one of those myself who has too big a carbon footprint, confident that it won't happen in my lifetime, since our politicians are not going to tax the people who keep them in office.)
Daniel
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #76 on: June 16, 2019, 05:24:32 PM »
I think we can take wider steps to reduce carbon emissions and also criticise individual things.
Using tax and higher cost to steer people toward the decisions we want them to make is a thing we can do. Legislating as was done during WW2 with preserving resources for the war effort is also a thing we can do.
We need to take some drastic steps so rather than choosing between a van and a drone to deliver some new HDMI cable someone really needs, Id prefer such things were delivered by bike courier.

Thats all wishlist legislation, but my main point is that drone delivery is a bad idea and falls apart under scrutiny as John said.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #77 on: June 16, 2019, 09:03:20 PM »
I think we can take wider steps to reduce carbon emissions and also criticise individual things.
Using tax and higher cost to steer people toward the decisions we want them to make is a thing we can do. Legislating as was done during WW2 with preserving resources for the war effort is also a thing we can do.
We need to take some drastic steps so rather than choosing between a van and a drone to deliver some new HDMI cable someone really needs, Id prefer such things were delivered by bike courier.

Thats all wishlist legislation, but my main point is that drone delivery is a bad idea and falls apart under scrutiny as John said.

Carbon tax. BIG carbon tax. That will create a big disincentive against drones and SUVs and unnecessary or inefficient delivery systems, as well as giving a boost to bike couriers, and making the roads safer for them because people will drive less.

I see drones as a bad idea but an insignificant contributor to our problems.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck