In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced to the world that the online retailer would begin to develop a “drone-to-door” delivery service for its loyal customers. Dubbed Amazon Prime Air, the system would deliver packages directly to your doorstep in just 30 minutes after an order is placed, setting a new and higher bar for “fast delivery.”
However, after a variety of issues and concerns were addressed by increasing regulations added by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to approve Amazon’s drones, the dream of flight seemed grounded. It appeared Bezos’ announcement would never get off the ground. But after two years of waiting for the FAA, Amazon will finally get to test these drones on U.S. soil–or, should I say U.S. air? – – this April, bringing customers one step closer to having their Tide detergent refilled by a delivery drone.
Despite the U.S. government dragging behind on these approvals, for retail and civilian use, sales for drones aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon. Companies like Teal Group, an aerospace research firm, estimates that sales of both military and civilian drones will total over $89 billion by 2023.
Other big companies, such as State Farm and AIG, are also getting into the drone business. In fact, State Farm is the first insurance company in the United States to receive regulatory approval to test drones for commercial use. With drones popping up in so many different industries, it makes me wonder, what impact will drones have on companies’ customer experience – good and bad.
State Farm plans on changing the insurance industry for the better, utilizing drones to aid in natural disaster relief. For instance, instead of State Farm spending the money (and time) to ship hundreds of claims adjusters out to natural disaster sites to assess damages, they will send only a handful of agents equipped with a drone partner to more efficiently survey damaged property.
Jason Wolf, a property defense attorney and shareholder at the Florida based firm, Koch Parafinczuck & Wolf stated in an interview to ClaimsJournal.com,
“I envision a time when, after a catastrophe, an adjuster pulls up to a neighborhood and opens the trunk of his car and presses a few buttons on his tablet device and the drone does an immediate survey of everything and streams it all right to his tablet device, and he knows exactly where to go first and what’s most significant within minutes. Costing very little money, the insurance company has a sense of everything that needs to be done in a very short about of time.”
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com