21 August 2009

UAV Pizza Delivery!

Looks like we're getting closer to my vision of UAV's delivering coffee, pizza and Chinese food. A report from Inside The Air Force recently announced that officials at Rockwell Collins project commercial unmanned aircraft being approved as early as 2012.

UAV pizza delivery - I'm telling you, it's coming! (and I love the phrase "groundswell of non-naysayers").

* * *
Inside the Air Force
August 14, 2009


Officials at Rockwell Collins see unmanned and manned aircraft sharing airspace across the globe by as early as 2012, one of the company's top managers for unmanned aerial vehicle control technologies announced this week.

While presenting numerous UAV control technologies being pioneered by the company, Dave Vos, Rockwell's senior manager for unmanned aerial system control technology, claimed that industry is quickly building a "groundswell of non-naysayers" who will work out the challenges associated with flying drones in the same airspace as manned aircraft on a routine basis.

The "2012 is the time line that we're all looking to, to allow and enable anyone who has a new business case and has managed to raise venture money . . . to go and exploit putting unmanned systems in commercial airspace," said Vos during an Aug. 12 briefing at an unmanned vehicle conference in Washington.


Phil said...

Not to be a naysayer, but too much needs to improve technology-wise (think of the recent tour helicopter crash over the Hudson river...now put a UAV in the mix) before the FAA would even consider it ... the good news is that gov't and industry are working this, it will happen, just not by 2012. The real question, when will we have commercial passenger flights via UAVs ...

The Dan Ward said...

@Phil - Ah, that's where I become a naysayer. I think carrying human passengers will be the last mission area for UAV's to move in to.

UAV's hauling cargo, sure!
UAV's hauling soldiers - not so sure.
UAV's hauling business travelers and vacationing families... not for a very long time, imho. I suspect UAV commercial passenger flights will be safe long before they're common.

But small UAV's hauling pizzas, now that's an idea whose time can't come soon enough! :)

Phil said...

Ah, my point exactly, Dan! Until passengers feel comfortable around UAVs (simply flying near them, nevermind riding in them), the FAA will never allow them in commercial airspace. It will happen, but I think you'll be getting your pies delivered by Joe Sixpack driving his beater car for the foreseeable future.