Recent advances in technology are ushering a whole new era of innovation. While drone technology has been around for almost a century now, it is only recently that it has gained traction in areas like wildlife conservation, weather prediction, agriculture, etc. Industries have begun realizing the capabilities of drones and the impact it will have on businesses.
According to statistics, the global market for business services using drone technology is valued at $127 billion. From delivering pizzas and burritos at your doorstep to providing medical supplies during an emergency, there are a lot of ways in which drone technology is changing our lives. The popularity of drones is increasing rapidly, and its impact could be felt across various sectors.
The growing number of drones are posing great risks and presenting new challenges such as managing increased air traffic, generating flight plans, dealing with collisions, etc. Around 1.3 million drones have been registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Pilots are seeing these drones much often. According to FAA reports, more than 2000 drones were spotted in 2018, and a drone hit a Boeing 737 causing damage to the radio and communication equipment. The plane landed safely, but a lot of people become concerned.
Blockchain can help solve these problems. From air traffic management to increased security, the distributed ledger technology can be used to overcome the challenges faced by drones today.
Enterprises are investing in this disruptive technology. Co-founded by Theo Nix Jr., Esq., dronepayo.com has a blockchain-based platform to help individuals develop drone technology by offering them innovative cross-solutions. IBM has filed a blockchain patent to address drone fleet security. Drone industry can benefit a lot from this revolutionary technology. Let’s see some of the problems that blockchain can solve:
Blockchain holds the potential to improve data security across all the sectors. The data is decentralized on the blockchain, and it cannot be altered. Therefore, no third-party providers are needed for data security. This distributed ledger technology enables drones to be provisioned with cryptographic material. Thus, the data is encrypted ensuring secure communications. So, the drones will be very helpful in carrying out sensitive tasks.
“For instance, in case of a package delivery operation, a blockchain based repository could log information about the operations such as time, location, resources, delivery date, etc, and make the data accessible to authenticated users, and any other stakeholders along a package’s route,” says Amit Ganjoo, founder of ANRA Technologies.
Amazon’s first drone delivery
Since these drones collect a lot of information, data security becomes a major concern. Government’s ability to track the drones and its missions raise questions about privacy and security. The blockchain technology can help reduce those concerns as records on a blockchain are secured through cryptography. Even if the drone falls in the wrong hands, the data will still be safe.
The misuse of drones is also a major issue. Several countries across the world have banned the use of drones because of its misuse and violation of privacy. Blockchain can help solve this problem with the help of blockchain identifier based remote identification system. The purpose of a remote identification is to allow the public and other entities interested in a drone flight to report an identifier number to the authorities. In case of inappropriate drone usage or damage to public property, the blockchain identifier will monitor and register complaints, and the authorities can investigate the issue without breaching the privacy of the drone user. All the confidential information of the operator will be protected.
Air traffic management is perhaps the biggest challenge for the commercial drone industry. As the number of drones increases, the risk of them colliding also increases. To address the issue, a new infrastructure is required that facilitates robust air traffic management. The current system lacks accuracy, efficiency, and accuracy.
This is where blockchain comes to the rescue. With the help of blockchain, drones can update their location in real-time. Since the data on a blockchain network is publicly accessible, other drones that are flying in the air can track the locations of other drones and therefore avoid collisions.
Also, the information about the prohibited zones can be updated on the distributed ledger in real-time. Therefore, blockchain can prevent drones from entering prohibited zones. And the data is totally safe from hackers as it encrypted. The drones can share the data with other drones only if they are a part of the blockchain network. This ensures that there is no unauthorized access.
As big companies like FedEx and Amazon are using drones for a variety of tasks like package delivery, medical supply, and other commercial purposes, insuring the fleets is a necessity. In the event of a drone crash, damage to property or personal injury, insurance companies need to identify what happened during the flight and what caused the crash. They can’t rely on Amazon to tell them what happened during the package delivery. Blockchain can help solve this problem as well. With blockchain, the data will be stored on the public ledger. Amazon would still own the data, but they cannot alter it. These way insurance companies can identify the exact cause of the accident.
As the drone industry continues to grow, blockchain will become mainstream. It would be interesting to see what the future holds for drone technology.
What Problems Can Blockchain Solve In The Drone Industry? was originally published in HackerNoon.com on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.