The Future of Autonomous Drones

We are witnessing an era where drones can fly autonomously in a natural environment. Also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, drones have been known to play a huge part in military applications. However, over time, autonomous drones have found their way into civilian applications such as communication, environment preservation, disaster mitigation, and transportation.

Today, drones are used in various industries, including the medical sector, logistics, and agriculture. The demand and market for drones are predicted to rise. This also means that we are yet to see the best that drones can offer. If you are wondering what the future holds, here are some trends you can expect. 

Drones Will Be Bigger and Stronger

Autonomous drones have revolutionized the logistics industry, especially cargo delivery. Though retailers can deliver packages using drones, the payload capacity of these drones is still too low. Today, some commercial drones can only carry packages that weigh up to 2.5 pounds, while others, such as Walmart’s drones, can carry three pounds.  

Since the market demands more, the sizes of drones are also growing. Amazon is set to launch a drone that can carry up to five pounds. Additionally, the tech industry is already releasing drone prototypes, such as the Rhaegal drone, which can carry up to 829 pounds. This drone also uses a hybrid engine, which converts fuels into electricity. 

Such drones are in high demand in the construction industry and can also be used to repair power transmission towers in remote and complex facilities. To meet the demands of heavy-duty drones, investment in the Advanced Air Mobility segment has increased. There’s no doubt that heavy-duty drones will be a reality in the rapidly approaching future. 

More Powerful Engines

The tech industry predicted that in a few years, the commercial drone industry would provide thousands of jobs. This is a huge opportunity to explore. However, for this to come true, the industry has to solve issues such as increasing load-carrying capacity and flight time. 

Most drones use lithium batteries. This technology helps to increase the capacity of a drone each year. Since lightweight drones, such as quadcopters, work perfectly with lithium batteries, heavy-duty drones will demand more robust and more powerful engines. 

A large battery, such as the type used to power electric cars, cannot power drones that transport heavy loads. The large battery discharges faster and will also make the structure heavier. Therefore, engineers are looking for better ways to power drones to meet the need to have heavy-duty drones and create jobs. 

Some of these options include using hydrogen engines and hybrid electric-gasoline engines. These engines are strong enough to handle heavier packages and light enough to ensure they don’t add any more weight to the structure. 

Artificial Intelligence Will Make Drones Smarter 

Thanks to AI, drones are now fully autonomous. These drones can fly along a specific route and avoid collisions with buildings, other drones, or any other obstacles. AI systems will allow drones to make decisions based on what they analyze.

The industry is also considering using new technology such as swarming technology, which is used by developers of satellite constellations. Since the demand for having several drones performing a task at the same time is rising, especially in the military, to perform tasks such as investigation or combat operations, you can expect autonomous drones to follow the swarming principle. 

This technology will also increase the efficiency of lightweight or heavy-duty commercial drones. The drones will have systems to help avoid collisions, improve maneuverability, and may also have a self-destruct system.

Military strike drones such as the Reaper or Predator still require a lot of human support to operate effectively. The military may be looking into ways of making such drones fully automated, more efficient, and also more affordable to operate using AI. 

However, since the idea of giving drones the power to make life-or-death decisions, especially when it comes to dropping bombs, the future of fully autonomous drones in the military is still unclear. You can expect the U.S. government to set examples that other nations may follow.

Introduction of the Drone-as-a-Service Model

The traditional way of delivering goods involves having a fleet of vehicles, dealing with high fuel consumption, and not forgetting emissions of CO2 to the environment. While this method is still valid, customer expectations are changing. 

The demand for faster and safer delivery services is shaping the future of the warehousing and logistics industry. To meet this demand, businesses may consider using more drones to deliver packages. However, since the cost of having a commercial drone is equivalent to the price of an expensive car, several businesses may not be able to afford to have commercial drones. 

To help businesses, experts have offered a different way of using drones. Drone-as-a-Service (DaaS) is an on-demand solution for businesses. This service will help businesses use drones to deliver packages or perform various tasks, such as monitoring crops or livestock or mapping the study of a large area, without owning their fleet. 

Businesses will be able to enjoy the services that drones have to offer without the need to deal with huge expenses such as having a fleet of drones, servicing, and also managing operators. 

These trends are shaping the future of automated drones. Since drones can choose their path or route for delivery, they will help save time and also increase customer satisfaction. Drones are also environmentally friendly, which is a huge advantage. With time, you can expect to see stronger and more energy-efficient drones, which offer maximum business results with simple requirements. 

How Can You Get Involved?

The future of autonomous drones is here. Since there’s still a lot to be done, this industry is very promising and has much more to offer. If you are considering joining the tech industry, a career in Artificial intelligence or drone technology can be an ideal option. Apprentice Now is here to help connect you with an employer. With many different opportunities to match with, you can start your journey to a career in tech today!

Scroll to Top