In India and across the world, old ways are dying. In the front and center of that death march toward antiquity is the current parcel delivery methods. Slow and unreliable, the current infrastructure is being overrun by the the immense amount of orders being seen by e-commerce sites.
“How do we fix this?”, you may ask. The answer is drones.
A drone delivery system is comprised of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to deliver products to people. One of the first times that a system like this was introduced was in the United Arab Emirates. Their system was used to deliver official documents such as ID cards, passports, and permits. Since the news broke out about the UAE in Reuters, the idea has grown around the globe and has received a lot of attention from the general public. This was hopeful news following Amazon’s statement about using the drone delivery system in the United States, but practicality problems put the system on hold until better safety measures could be put in place.
As the United States debates over its proposals of safety measures, Amazon, has filed for patents in India for its Prime Air services which promise to deliver products to customers in 30 minutes or less. The drone delivery system started with a few regulations some of which included dividing it into weight systems of drones, using the drones only during the daytime, and only within sight of the operator.
However, new rules have since been written. The regulations have become a little more relaxed to allow for the commercial use of drones. The drone operators did not have to be in sight of it. The drones could travel above crowds of people and they could be used at night.
The reason drones are so important to India is because of the infrastructure, or lack thereof. One of the largest struggles India faces is the infrastructure foundation that it sits on. In 2012, India had a massive blackout across the northern region which affected approximately 600 billion people. Hundreds of trains stopped mid-transportation in the underground tunnels of New Delhi. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, put into works and saw the completion of, the longest road tunnel and the longest bridge in India. Another infrastructure in the works is what will be the world’s tallest railway bridge at 359 metres (1,178 feet). And while the addition of these roads and tunnels makes it slightly easier to deliver parcels, there are still long ways to go.
To get around the infrastructure problem India has become more liberal in terms of drone laws and are several steps ahead of countries like the United States by drafting proposals to begin the commercial use of a drone delivery system within the year. According to India Times, the drones will be most notably used for delivering retail goods, packages for emergency services and environmental monitoring.
The potential that this system has of improving commerce in India is huge. Quantified Commerce, a company focused on building e-commerce brands in India sees the potential of this new technology to completely unlock the country’s potential in terms of internet commerce. “We really think that drones are going to be the future,” said Ryan Andreas, co-founder of Quantified Commerce, “our company is absolutely looking into drones in the future.”
As the country waits for the infrastructure system grow, companies like Quantified Commerce think that drones could be a quicker and more inexpensive option. Although the cost of drones is outside the budget of the average person, this will change quickly. The technology will soon be cheaper and easier to mass produce and mass adoption will follow.
Switching from a traditional retail market system to one of e-commerce takes a lot of time and effort, but companies like Quantified Commerce are making it look easy. By creating innovative e-commerce platforms for the markets that an audience is looking for, Quantified Commerce is positioning itself to lead India into the future and like amazon has been doing field tests to study its practical application for real world delivery situations in India. The question remains… do you think a drone delivering goods is fun or creepy?