If there is one thing Amazon wants more than anything, it is to get delivery drones into the air. The main problem with drones involves the issue of safety. The last thing anyone wants is for delivery drones to drop out of the sky, crash into buildings, or get hijacked.
Hijacked? Yes, part of the safety concerns surrounding delivery drones involve the dangers of hacking the drones to hijack them. This could mean packages could be stolen before arriving at customers’ doorsteps.
As Mercury News reports, “Amazon, in the patent document, predicts that attackers will set their sights on delivery drones for purposes including theft of the aircraft and their packages, crashing drones deliberately, or otherwise interfering with their operations.”
Solving these sorts of security issues is a top priority for Amazon. One of the tech giant’s patents would secure drones using what is called a “heartbeat” signal which would transmit, “automatically every few seconds from the aircraft’s controller. Should the drone stop receiving the signal, that would indicate hijacking, and the aircraft would shift to “safety” mode, according to the patent.”
If Amazon wants to employ delivery drones safely, they are going to have to continue to develop security and safety features for their drones. Based on the patents currently in place, it seems Amazon is well on its way to realizing its dream of sending swarms of delivery drones (likely from patented beehive-shaped loading centers) across the country. And that is good for everyone who is interested in using drones and receiving goods.