But amid that bad rap, drones are quietly proving ways they can save taxpayers money, and help businesses serve their customers better.
While privacy and safety concerns remain — as is typical with any emerging technology — U.S. drone operators with FAA exemptions are backing up claims that drones will reinvent how the world operates.
“It’s more effective, it’s more efficient and it’s life-saving,” said Michael Toscano, president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. “People will realize this is a better way of doing what they’ve done before.”
Right now, as only a small group of commercial drone operators have approval to fly in the United States, we’re seeing a few drops of potential leak from a spigot. Once rules are in place for commercial drone use, expect a flood of creativity that consumers and taxpayers can benefit from.
Here are five successful cases happening today that hint at a bright and useful future for drones: