Gurmeet Singh

Gurmeet Singh is founder and CEO of DEEP AERO, which helps individuals and organisations to understand the revolutionary benefits of drone technology, and gain the skills and connections to implement drone technology in their workplaces.

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Why the Future of Drone Industry Depends on Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain?

Drones have been used for a variety of purposes across the world – from transporting medical facilities in Africa to mapping agricultural fields and wildlife.

Photo Credit : ShutterStock,

The robots are coming! Advances in deep technology, machine learning and automation are ushering a new era of digital workers. In the near future, drones, artificial intelligence and driverless cars will seamlessly coordinate and transport goods and people across the globe at rather smaller cost. In fact, drones in particular have caught the interest of several bodies and policymakers across the globe. Countries across the world are exploring the possibilities of drones and their extent of usage in different scenarios.

From delivering online grocery orders at the doorstep, to providing emergency medical supplies to remote areas, or facilitating unmanned surveillance in dangerous warzones, there are many more ways in which Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones are changing the commerce landscape as well as our lives. This change is much faster than we could have thought 4-5 years ago. Autonomous operations of drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) through AI (artificial intelligence) and Blockchain may sound like science fantasy, however it is a reality that’s being explored actively today. Let us look at how the usage of AI and blockchain can pave a new route map for drones and consequently the world transport and logistic economy at large.

According to a new study for Mercatus Center at George Mason University, scholars Adam Thierer and Ryan Hagemann found that driver errors in accidents cost $300 billion in USA alone. Additionally, in 2011, congestion caused drivers to spend an extra 5.5 billion hours on the road while having to purchase 2.9 billion gallons of fuel at a cost of $121 billion. Adoption of autonomous and intelligent vehicles like drones will not only reduce congestion and human-initiated driving errors but also drastically cut costs in fuel, accident insurance premiums and provide more safety for both passengers and cargo.

Drones have been used for a variety of purposes across the world – from transporting medical facilities in Africa to mapping agricultural fields and wildlife. Merely flying at a low altitude is not what makes drones special. It is their capability to capture remote data, surveillance videos and also analyse it for various objectives without much human intervention is what makes drones so lucrative as dynamic sensors. The integration of AI and deep learning allows these autonomous flying objects to understand and analyse the surroundings. For instance, without AI, a team of humans cannot keep an eye on video footage received from hundreds of drones in real time to find a missing vehicle. These videos can only be created and archived for future reference. However, with AI, this is not the case. The smart algorithm can analyse the footage received from different cameras and identify the searched object in real time. In another use case, the AI powered drones can have predictive capabilities by analysing the past data. For example, a month long footage captured from a construction site can be used to project how the site may look like in the next week or so. 

However, the biggest challenge for the commercial drone industry is air traffic management in the shared airspace. With exponentially increasing number of drone fights, it is not possible to manage the aerial traffic using conventional air traffic management. While these methods may have done well with manned flights, they are not sufficient to handle autonomous drone flights. This is where AI and blockchain come into the picture. 

AI and Blockchain can allow safe, low-altitude civilian flights for manned and unmanned aircrafts. Based on advanced research in prototype technologies like airspace design, dynamic geo-fencing, route planning, congestion management, sequencing and spacing, terrain avoidance, re-routing, separation management, and contingency management, a drone traffic management can all set to transform the drone industry. Such a platform can provide universal drone registration standards, secure identification systems, tamper-proof flight data recorders, accurate and trustworthy 3D mapping data, dynamic weather information, and secure vehicle-to-vehicle communication. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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Drone Industry artificial intelligence Blockchain

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