What Is Next?

  • Taxi drones in Dubai by July 2017
  • Security drones combating terrorism
  • Drones in healthcare

The maturing technology of drones is having a dramatic effect on how products and services influence our daily lives.  More than simply package delivery or aerial photographic vehicles, drones are enhancing industries across the globe.  As governments adapt to evolving technologies and regulations are modified, drones will be a constant aide in transportation, security, healthcare and much more.

Taxi Drones

Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority is testing large livery drones in the city now and expects passengers to be traveling by air in July of this year.  The first electronically powered, driverless drones to hit the market are manufactured by Ehang, a Chinese technology company.

Taxi Drone Facts:

  • The current version from Ehang can carry one person and cargo weighing up to approximately 220 lbs.
  • This drone can fly 30-40 miles before recharge and has a top speed of 60 mph, with a flying ceiling of 11,500 feet
  • PwC says drone applications for the transportation industry could be a $10.5 billion market
  • Dubai’s goal: to have 25% of all passengers carried by autonomous vehicles of any kind by 2030

The State of Nevada is testing the same technology.  Ehang expects to debut drones in the U.S. within two to three years.

Drones In Security

To combat the threat of terrorism, security drones were introduced at the 2014Boston Marathon Security Drone Sochi Winter Olympics and this year’s Boston Marathon.  At the marathon, police used drones equipped with long distance and infrared zoom to scan the crowd for low-tech terror threats.

Security Drone Facts:

  • Video surveillance to identify threats before they have the ability to act
  • Expedite response and identification if an attack occurs
  • PwC says drone applications for the security industry could be a $10.5 billion market
  • Drones will be used to guard large areas such as border walls and use thermal imaging to keep track of perpetrators until a response team can arrive

Drones In Healthcare

Healthcare drones are making a difference in the villages of Africa, the streets of Holland, and hospitals in Switzerland.

  • In Africa, drones are used to quickly transport medical supplies and blood to villages that are difficult to access by motor vehicles.
  • Telemedical drones have been tested to access someone with a medical emergency quicker than a paramedic’s team could in an ambulance. These drones can be equipped with supplies and communication equipment that will allow a doctor to guide anyone at the scene in attending to someone in need far in advance of emergency responders arriving.
  • In Switzerland, drones are being used to transport samples between hospitals. A Swiss company called Swiss Post has operated more than 70 test flights with the idea to establish regular service in the City of Lugano by 2018.

Hospitals and technology companies believe the use of drones to make deliveries within a hospital’s hallways can improve healthcare services.  Consulting company Wilstair is among many looking at how drones could be used indoors to deliver what pneumatical tubes cannot, leaving doctors to focus on their patients.


Using 2015 values of businesses, PwC estimated that the total addressable market for drone technology is upwards of $127 billion, which should continue to push entrepreneurs to innovate in the space.  The fear for many drone experts is whether governments and regulation will adapt as quickly as the technology, which will enable these transformative devices to become part of everyday life.