Tuesday, February 07, 2012

It Isn't Only Government That Moves Slowly!

It will be exciting to see how entrepreneurs and local and state governments will soon make use of the drones, if the timelines stick as outlined in the FAA funding legislation which is expected to be approved this month. Of course, the knee-jerk reaction that the FAA is moving too fast was to be expected.

Drones, a.k.a. UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have been under development since 1915 or so and developed largely with research funded by the US military and Israel.  So everyone's theoretically had plenty of time to make adjustments for this not-so-new technology.

Inertial reactions to new technology are always a bit baffling or some would say amusing as in the resistance here in Durham among some neighborhood associations who fear leaving the one-dimensional listserves to which many have become accustomed since the mid-to-late 1990s for the multi-dimensional platforms now available such as Neighborship, created by Durham entrepreneur.

Of course there was this same resistance to listserves back when they came along.  Thank goodness neighborhood leaders at that time had the faith to move to new ways to communicate rather than staying stuck in something familiar “until there was a guarantee” that no one would stay or be left behind.

This is the same reticence that keeps nearly every contemporary  office holding onto to a seldom used fax machine in the back room just as many still had mimeograph machines and telexes from the 1960s through the 1980s, even though they were rarely, if ever, utilized.

In the same FAA bill that timelines domestic use for drones there is a plan to move airlines to the use of GPS technology for navigation similar to the navigation systems in automobiles and trucks and now even being used by 37% of the half of the population now using smartphones.

The question again is why, nearly two decades after the technology was introduced in production cars and even rental cars, the airlines are claiming that they haven't had enough time to prepare? The fact is they have had plenty of time to prepare but maybe like some of the wary neighborhood associations they had convinced themselves wait.

It isn't only government that moves slowly!

In fact news reports, such as the one Saturday in the Wall Street Journal, indicate that local governments and businesses have been eager to adopt unmanned aircraft technology for things such as “environmental monitoring, fire protection and surveillance of suspected criminals. Other potential roles include industrial jobs such as checking power lines and tracking equipment.”

Some organizations will forge ahead using this innovation but rarely will it be through groupthink!

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