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Aussies Prep Drone Strike Against Bike Messengers


True innovation seems obvious in retrospect, though at the time it’s anything but. Here’s one such example out of Australia: two young engineers are planning to launch an army of drones to revolutionize freight and shipping. They are planning  a pilot program with an Australian textbook rental company:

Zookal will use Flirtey to send parcels for free and claims deliveries can be made in as little as two or three minutes, compared to two or three days for traditional shipping methods. Upon arrival at an outdoor delivery destination, Flirtey’s drones hover and lower the parcel through a custom delivery mechanism that is attached to a retractable cord. Real-time GPS tracking of each drone’s location will be available through the Flirtey app for smartphones.


Now that they’ve come up with the idea, it’s all too easy to imagine the skies of the cities of the future abuzz with little drone delivery bots ferrying packages from office to office. And it’s also easy to see how bike messengers’ and other courier services’ days may be numbered.

Watch the clip of the two founders below, and note how they single out smart regulatory policy in Australia regarding drones:

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This is the kind of stuff we should be encouraging here in the United States. The future doesn’t wait.

[Bike messenger photo courtesy Shutterstock.]

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  • Clayton Holbrook

    Here in Texas there was drone legislation passed that went into affect Sept 1.

    The law restricts private use of drones for aerial imagery. Where it differs from other states that have drone legislation is there’s around 40 exemptions for law enforcement. It tips the the use of drones under the law in favor of the police. There’s exemptions for warrants if there’s suspicion of illegal activity.

    O&G companies and the ag industry were concerned the technology could be used to expose their operations. In one such case a drone was used to show pig blood that had polluted a waterway from an ag operation. And one legislator cited a complaint from a constituent that said a neighbor was “spying on his cattle”.

    I’m not the anti-NSA-fear-big-brother-gov’t type, but this law seems a little questionable to me. Not sure how it affects other services a drone can offer such as the parcel service described in this article. The technology has the potential to do great things. And I love it when certain technology becomes affordable for avg joe sending lawmakers into a tizzy, and challenging conventional notions about the reach of established societal controls and legalities.

    • Andrew Allison

      Surveillance, which is what the TX bill addresses, is a very different kettle of fish from door-to-door delivery.

      • Clayton Holbrook

        And I acknowledge that. But in any case the technology has the potential to challenge many business and regulatory norms. Smart regulation that empowers enterprising individuals is in order instead of blanket reactionary bans for unreasonable fear of the new technology.

        • Andrew Allison

          But it’s not a blanket reactionary ban but a very specific one with which people who value their privacy would find little problem. We should be far more concerned about the exemptions from the ban than the ban. Recent disclosures have made clear that if the State has a surveillance power, it will misuse it unless strictly regulated.

  • Santander

    As long as they dress them up like owls —

    It will be brilliant!

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