Drones are no longer a military tool. These remote-controlled aircraft are used in commercial ventures as well as recreational use. According to Price Waterhouse Cooper, the global drone industry may be worth $127.3 billion.
Let’s explore both sides of the fence on how drones are improving lives as well as infringing on privacy rights.
The Benefits of Drone Technology
There are many stories on how drones are successful in helping search and rescue effort, monitoring endangered wildlife, and delivering life-giving blood to remote or dangerous areas. In the National Geographic’s article about Drones For Good, you can read about how drones are used for healthcare delivery, mapping fragile coral reefs affected by climate change and peacekeeping missions in the Congo.
Reducing Risk & Maintenance Costs
Drones are starting to take over riskier jobs like inspecting the underside of bridges or the top of skyscrapers. Not only is it making jobs safer for infrastructure inspectors and maintenance workers, it aids in public safety.
The cost of aerial photography, especially for property owners, is now more affordable. Using aerial photographs and videos are effective when marketing a home. It shows a perspective of the entire property in relation to the surrounding neighborhood. Use of aerial photos is still relatively new in real estate listings. Taking advantage of this technology can supply a higher-level (pun intended) of visuals to showcase a property.
Keeping an Eye on Privacy
As with any benefit of new technology, there are downsides. Drones, especially those used for personal recreational use, are no exception.
In a NASA study, the buzz of a drone is more annoying to people than road traffic. While we are more accustomed to the sounds of cars, the buzzing sound of drones is disturbing. As Amazon and other commercial companies explore drones for package delivery, addressing the drone as an increasing contributor to noise pollution will be further debated.
Federal and state laws still need to catch up with drone technology. What constitutes spying on your neighbors versus harmless fun? In a 2016 Supreme Court case (United States v. Causby), a property owners’ rights that extend 83 feet up in the air came into question.
For drone enthusiasts, adhering to California’s drone laws and Federal Aviation Administration regulations is a must. Organizations, such as UC Berkeley, are instituting specific policies about the use of drones on campus.
Future Is Up In the Air
Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, drones are shaping our future. As a Realtor, I appreciate the technology’s ability to showcase a property in new and flattering ways. As drones become more reliable and efficient, I suspect more businesses — especially those based in our tech-savvy Silicon Valley — will push the envelope.
As a homeowner, I also recognize that the buzz of a drone can be an irritant and privacy concern. How do you think drone technology will affect the quality of life here in Silicon Valley?