I’m sure you heard the good news about drone ID and tracking being possible. Prior to the test performed by Airmap, Kittyhawk, and Google, no one besides DJI, NASA, Intel, various companies, and folks working ADS-B had any idea that remotely IDing aircraft was possible. Google apparently came into it as the use case with strings attached, but with no freemium cellphone app offering of their own. Beyond their grasp, I guess? Or maybe there is more than enough money in burrito delivery to support aircraft certification and the UTM? Is a burrito in the hand worth two pivots in the bush?
Google is all over the burrito thing again like molé sauce on a chicken enchilada! Curious, as the word on the street did not confirm that Dave Vos just got tired of the money and prestige of working at the Goog cover story and left for greener pastures. No, contrary to the cover story, there were rumors that the burrito-on-a-string delivery was viewed as an embarrassment from folks on high at the company. I guess either story is plausible, but why would they then be doubling down on the Part 135 burrito?
Soon after the Dave Vos culture reset, I met the new crew and asked, “So what are you going to focus on now?” “Food” was the answer since studies show that people are really receptive to drone food delivery. I said, “Really, not so much for Dave.” A quizzical look is all I got in return.
So what are we to deduce from the renewed and now yet-to-be-certified burrito delivery effort? Looks like they brought in the industry legal luminary that was instrumental in helping 3DRobitics get where it is today, Nancy Egan (no relation to your humble author). I guess they felt like they had no choice but to bring in the big guns to reinvigorate the gordo burrito moonshot effort.
I know, at this point you’re asking what the heck a drone burrito has to do with oil. Good question and one that we will examine here. How burrito delivery ties into the big picture is what I want to know. In Europe they figure it will cost you a two-dollar user fee to get into the airspace. Good news is that they assume that most of the burden will be covered by the lucrative aerial photography market. We’re still in Postmates range with the fees, but that Part 135 certification doesn’t come cheap.
I’m thinking there has to be something bigger afoot; this is the moonshot factory, after all. And we’ve had it drummed (42 gallon) into us that data is the new oil, but apparently disruption means leaving that loser behind. I’ve been postulating for some time that Google is playing possum with the delivery-drone-on-a-string dodge while the real deal will be drones bristling with sensors collecting pictures and data like the Earth/Map thing. You’d be able to order up stock photos, video B-roll, LiDAR, and IR thermal scans of all areas covered in the delivery scheme. If you wanted to go one better, you could be the blessed third-party administering access to the NAS like the FCC did/does with bandwidth. Or you could just stay strung out on the gilded burrito, and I’ll just admit that I mistook the whole moonshot factory thing for something else.