A plea for innovation that actually solves problems

The weekend papers featured news that Australia Post is testing drones to deliver online parcels.

According to Australia Post “this trial is another exciting example of how we’re looking to the future with emerging technologies to make life easier for our customers. Today’s online shopper expects to receive their purchase whenever and wherever they want.”

I am sorry, but this has to go down with spray can hair on the list of the world’s dumbest inventions.

There are so many reasons why delivering online parcels via drones will not work.

In the last week it was reported that a British Airways jet carrying 132 passengers struck a drone whilst landing. Drones are too small to appear on radar but are potentially powerful explosives due to the lithium batteries these devices contain.

It may be that innovations such as Airbnb and uber flouted regulations as they disrupted accommodation and transport sectors, but before we jump to disrupting delivery parcels we need to consider the serious implications of having thousands of drones buzzing unregulated around our skies.

The question is why should we waste even one second of time considering the development of a regulatory regime for online drones when it is unclear whether delivery of products via drones has any value to our society and economy?

Beyond the practical and logistical problems of drone delivery the big question is what problem are we actually trying to solve. Why should we support a government owned corporation to attempt to disrupt an industry, with the implication that if successful that thousands of delivery jobs could disappear.

Innovation investment has an important role to play solving society problems. But governments and companies owe it to their stakeholders – the community – to focus on innovations that have the greatest potential to solve problems. The creation, and not destruction of jobs, should be something that is fundamental when investments are made – particularly by government owned corporations.

LINKS

Australia Post announces drone trial:
https://auspost.newsroom.com.au/Content/Home/02-Home/Article/Australia-Post-Delivery-Trial-Takes-Flight-/-2/-2/6092

Great Looking Hair:

British Airways Drone incident
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3544651/British-Airways-plane-struck-drone-prepares-land-Heathrow.html#ixzz469GdBpG0

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