Now that we’re past “[X company] now accepts Bitcoins,” the latest trend in annoying PR tactics is announcing that you’re in the “delivery via drone” business. The schlocky publicity ploy has struck sushi restaurants in London, burritos in California and most recently textbooks in Australia. But an Australian newspaper definitely did not use a drone to deliver this think piece about how absurd this ruse is.
Last week, Sydney-based textbook rental service Zookal announced that it would team up with a “startup drone courier” to plop its products into students’ faces. Guess ground delivery just doesn’t generate enough buzz for a thirsty company, hence promoting an idea with no chance of liftoff.
The Sydney Morning Herald thinks this idea is the dumbest, so it talked to Darren Turner, a professor who is studying not stupid ways of how drones can integrated. This is not one of them:
“The idea of sending one off into the unknown to go and fly over a suburban area and then land where you don’t know who is around or what is around … is just ridiculous,” he said.
The drones can’t operate autonomously like the textbook company claims because the vehicle’s pilot needs to maintain eye sight with it all times and it can’t operate in populated areas, which is a problem on college campuses.
The conventional wisdom is that CASA, Oz’s version of the FAA, is “very unlikely” to approve it because safety reasons and that it breaches countless laws. And since the startup most likely didn’t think of the legalities as much as they did on the press release touting the idea, it “actually wouldn’t work anyway.” Turns out, it’s cheaper and easier just to hand a person a textbook.