When Amazon announced their ‘Prime Air’ plans to deliver packages in 30 minutes by using unmanned aerial vehicles it excited our inner gadget freaks that there was a possible future where we wouldn’t have to wait two days for a new mobile phone case.
While commercial package delivery via small drones may become a normal occurrence one day, we may see autonomous drones transport another type of cargo in near future – a cargo defined by high value and high urgency.
I am thinking of human organs.
I suspected this was just a product of my imaginative extrapolation, but a quick internet search reveals that others have come forward in the wake of the Amazon announcement to talk about their ideas. Transplant and Transportation Services, a company that airlifts transplants to hospitals, says they have been thinking about this for a couple of years.
Rapid transplant airlifting is a great example of a scenario with significant benefits that technology is close to enabling but which requires regulation to be better defined. There are no privacy concerns, there are significant potential cost savings and it may even save lives. For each scenario we can think of, chances are there are hundreds of scenarios we have yet to imagine.