As the abilities and versatility of drones and unmanned flying vehicles expand and become more practically useful, major cities are beginning to take advantage. From using unmanned drones to give police a cheap pair of eyes in the sky, to quick and efficient deliveries, drones are quickly becoming more handy and relied upon for a multitude of tasks. Just last year the U.S. Department of Transportation selected San Diego to be part of a commercial delivery test program, called the “Unnamed Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program”. The program will also help the Federal Aviation Administration to develop specific rules regarding drone deliveries in the United States.
Most major shipping companies, including FedEx, UPS, and DHL have all expressed their interest in delivering packages via drone. Being able to do so would allow packages to arrive at their intended recipients far more quickly than they would if a truck had to go house to house to deliver them. In 2016, Amazon published a video of a drone delivering a package from the company to a consumer.
Imagine being able to deliver or receive mishloach manos by way of a drone? Not only would it be cool, it would save you a whole lot of time spent in the annual Purim traffic jams around town.
Drone deliveries could also provide an advantage to emergency services in times of an emergency, especially when every moment is crucial. Drones could quickly deliver life-saving equipment and medications directly to the scene of an accident or other medical emergency. Blood could be delivered in a matter of moments to the scene of a trauma victim, allowing emergency medical responders to at times help further stabilize a patient without having to rush them to the hospital for a blood infusion.
So the question is: should Lakewood allow these types of deliveries? Should pizza shops be able to hook a pie onto a drone and send it off directly into your waiting arms? More importantly, should Hatzolah, EMS, Police, and Fire services be allowed to transport emergency supplies as necessary via drone? Should a defibrillator, for example, be able to be sent via drone delivery to the scene of a cardiac arrest?
While I believe there would be many legal, logistical, and safety issues and concerns that would need to be addressed, I do think that there is room for drones in Lakewood. There is no reason Lakewood can’t be at the cutting edge of modern technology and efficiency. Drones are turning into viable delivery systems, and it would be wise to take advantage of it.