Commercial drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), have increased in popularity in recent years, and for many great reasons. They have plenty of uses, making them a good choice for many different applications including making deliveries, aerial photography, surveying, search and rescue missions, and digital communication. Drones are lightweight, require little infrastructure to run, and perhaps most importantly they don’t run on fuel.
How can Commercial Drones Benefit the Logistics Sector?
Perhaps the most common application that springs to mind for commercial drones is parcel delivery. Getting a parcel from a supplier to a customer’s doorstep means the package is shuttled between warehouses and depots. This uses a lot of fuel and adds a lot of traffic to our roads. However, although drone deliveries could be more environmentally friendly than lorry deliveries, this is dependent on how they are put into place. Drones don’t run on fuel, they have batteries which need to be charged, and the best way to ensure drones remain as environmentally friendly as possible is to plug them into clean power, such as solar power.
Drones also have shorter ranges than lorries, meaning delivery companies will need a network of charging stations in order to sustain drone delivery. Building more warehouses to accommodate the needs of drones would take its toll on the environment, as this would mean more power, lighting and heating used in these warehouses, as well as the power needed to charge the drones. A solution to this would be to use existing warehouses and stores as bases for the drones. Drones could also be based inside lorries, to deliver packages to houses local to where the lorry has stopped – using the range of the lorry to aid the drones. While drones can only deliver a few packages at a time, lorries are well placed to deliver a large number of parcels to densely populated areas.
For delivery companies and suppliers, switching to commercial drones could be an effective way to lower their carbon emissions. Over time, the switch could also prove to be beneficial to your bottom line. It’s important to weigh up the costs, risks and benefits for your business before investing in this new technology.
How Can Drones be Used to Help the Environment?
Not only are drones environmentally friendly, but they can also be used to actively help the environment. Here are a few examples of how commercial drones can have a positive effect on the natural world around us:
- Aerial mapping: Drones can fly for hours, snapping photos of the ground as they hover below the clouds. They can provide images of conservations, rainforests and wetlands with excellent clarity, helping to provide a big picture of the state of the land and its inhabitants, and any potential problems.
- Agricultural work: UAVs can be used to spray crops. They can do this in a way that reduces the amount of fertiliser used, and they are an environmentally friendly alternative to other farming machines that use a lot of fuel. Drones can also be used on farms to monitor livestock, crop health, water levels and landscapes.
- Meteorological monitoring: Drones can carry monitoring equipment such as thermometers, wind gauges and pressure sensors to monitor the environment in ways that previously would not have been so easy.
- Wind turbine maintenance: Commercial drones are extremely useful for viewing things at a height – where previously a person would need to scale a tall structure in order to examine it, we can now do this with drones while staying safely on the ground. Wind turbines are a great example of this, as drones can be sent to examine power cables and blades with ease and minimal cost.
- Disaster relief: Drones can be used to assess the damage caused by natural disasters, to send information to prevent them from happening, or to evaluate the risk of them taking place. This information can be used to mitigate risk, make decisions on how to provide disaster relief, and even save lives.
- Wildlife conservation: Drones can be used to monitor the population of animal species and movement, and even save them from poachers.
As you can see, commercial drones can be an environmentally friendly alternative to more traditional delivery methods, and they play a vital role in looking after our planet in a range of natural, meteorological and agricultural applications. If you would like help with financing a commercial drone for your business, contact us online using the form on the right or call 01933 304899.