In the United Arab Emirates it looks like we could be seeing the use of drones to make deliveries to customers. Announced today the drones would deliver drivers licenses and other government documents to its citizens as part of their new ambitious plan. Officials in the UAE unveiled the prototype unmanned drone and plan to test it for the next six months in Dubai before expanding the use to the rest of the country within the year.
“Within a year from now we will understand the capabilities of the system and what sort of services, and how far we can deliver. Eventually a new product will be launched across all the country.” Mohammed al-Gergawi, minister of cabinet affairs said.
The battery powered drone will feature four rotors and would be able to carry the packages in its upper cargo area. The prototype drone measures around 18 inches in width, although the official spec’s and its technological capabilities remain unclear for now. Abdulrahman Alserkal, who is an engineer that designed the drone has said that it will feature a fingerprint scanner and retina recognition system. This is so the package doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and to protect the drone. The drone is also going to have to be able to withstand the blistering heat and sandstorms which are very common in the UAE year round.
Authorities in the UAE have shown great interest in drone technologies in recent months, as last month in Dubai they began testing quad copter drones to help fire fighters monitor and analyse fire. Meanwhile they also tested out similar drones which would be used for surveillance to help Dubai police strengthen security and crowd control at major sporting events.
Last month Amazon announced a similar delivery program, saying that once your order is complete, the drone will deliver your package to your address within half an hour. Similar to this, Google is also planning on doing delivery by drones. The idea sparked widespread speculation but also received some backlash with people questioning the safety of the drone and the possibility of them being shot down. It also faces regulatory issues from the FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration) as they are yet to approve it and allow unmanned drones for civilian purposes.