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Wednesday, July 08, 2015 2:56 PM

Switzerland Postal Service Tests Drone Package Delivery; Reader Mailbag on Today's Grounding of All United Flights

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This morning reader "PSB" sent me a link to United Airlines Grounds All Flights in the US Over Computer Issues.

PSB asked "And how will this be prevented?"

He commented "Insurance industries will not be able to stop the easy fear campaign old ways will scare the masses away from the future. A 15 year old DREAMS of a driver's license and independence. You know that sense of freedom to turn left when one is supposed to turn right is second to the inevitable auto taxi culture?"

His question seemed reasonable for about 10 seconds. The answer should be easy to spot: Unlike airlines, there is no central computer controlling the flight or whereabouts of all cars.

Simply put, there is no potential centralized computer error to prevent.

Will there be problems? Of course there will be. There were also problems going from horses to cars. The convenience of cars guaranteed whatever problems arose would be solved. And they were.

Yes, there will be software updates and bugs with autonomous cars. But does that radically differ from mechanical recalls? Not really.

PSB is concerned about problems that cannot possibly happen or will be resolved quickly as they arise.


Nor will there be any lasting fearmongering campaigns. The irony here is that "PSB" has the setup backwards. Insurance rates will plunge because there will be fewer accidents. I expect many of them to go out of business.

Finally, "PSB" has not grasped the changing dreams of millennials who view transportation only as a means of getting from point A to point B, nor the changing needs of aging boomers who have difficulty with night vision.

Technology marches on, whether people believe it will or not.

Drone Pizza Delivery

On December 3, 2013, I asked How Will Pizzas Be Delivered? Do You Tip a Drone?

Do You Tip a Drone?

Dominos does not deliver to my area. Nor Does Pizza hut. Yet, I am less distance away from their stores than many places they will deliver to. I am just in a different town. A drone with a GPS would have no problems whatsoever delivering to my address.

And it would be cheaper and faster, for me, as well as the pizza place to not have to bother with human carriers or tips.

Like Amazon, Domino's Tests Delivery of Pizza by Remote-Controlled Drone.
Switzerland Tests Drone Package Delivery

Delivery by drone took a big leap forward this past week. The Swiss postal service announced Postal Drone Trials.
Switzerland’s postal service has begun practical trials of its drone-based postal delivery service, the organisation announced in a post today. The project is a collaboration between Swiss Post, Swiss World Cargo and California-based drone startup Matternet, which is supplying the lightweight airborne carriers.

Swiss Post emphasises that the practical trials which begin this month will not lead to a commercial service in less than five years, and additionally that drones are not expected to predominate as a new delivery method in Switzerland: ‘The possible areas of application offered by drone technology are very diverse, ranging from delivery to peripheral areas to the express delivery of goods.

Amazon is also far advanced in its own tests of drone delivery, but similar projects in all countries are likely to be delayed, perhaps for some years, while national regulatory frameworks are established for commercial use of drones.

Google is also very far into research on its own disaster-zone/postal drone, named Project Wing, whilst Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba began its own practical drone delivery trials in February of this year.’
Project Wing and Alibaba

Drone delivery may be further off than autonomous cars due to regulatory concerns and genuine insurance issues.

One can easily dream up all sorts of problems with drones regarding airspace flight paths, mid-air crashes, restricted space issues, etc.

So what? The problems will all be solved one-by-one.

Peak Cars, Peak Drivers

The need for drivers of all sorts will vanish as I stated yesterday in "UberCab" vs. Al Gore's $90 Trillion Plan to Rid World of Cars: Uber CEO Asks Tesla for 500,000 Autonomous Cars in 2020; Peak Cars?
By 2020 (more or less), there will not be any discourteous Uber drivers, bad drivers, or unresponsive drivers because there will not be any Uber drivers at all.

Al Gore to the rescue, NOT.

Al Gore's $90 Trillion Plan to Rid Cities of Cars

As preposterous as it may seem, Al Gore has a Plan to Spend $90 Trillion to Get Rid of Cars in Cities.

"Former Vice President Al Gore and Mexican President Felipe Calderon proposed a $90 trillion plan to redesign every city on earth so that motor vehicles would become obsolete due to more dense populations."

Never underestimate the stupidity of politicians and their ridiculously expensive solutions to non-problems that the free market will take care of on its own.
Pertinent Observation

The pertinent observation of the week goes to NewFedFAA.

He responded to my post with ... I'll make a prediction of my own: Within a few years of their introduction, autonomous cars will be so much safer than human driven cars you will not be able to afford insurance on a human operated car. They will force people into robot cars in very short order.

That's a person thinking clearly.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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