by Michael Willoughby
A report from the World Economic Forum suggests that medical deliveries might help India lead the world in drone technology.
As a minister from the Ministry of Civil Aviation explains in the report “One of the applications for drones that has come forward is an application to transport organs (…) so that is something that we have discussed with a large hospital company that is transporting organs right now and has found it to be very difficult to transport organs, given how crowded Indian streets are.”
“Gaps in infrastructure, an awareness and agreement to answer climatological challenges, and a willingness to try new technologies to address new social divides demonstrates one reason why India may lead with drones,” the report continues.
“The second reason,” the report says, “is that a workforce that knows how to implement the new technology and has the skills to execute that vision are required for technological success – and India is developing both. With a workforce that is both knowledgeable and highly-skilled in the technology sector, India has been a consistent performer when it comes to global innovation since 2015 and rose five places in the Global Innovation Index (GII) to 52 of 126 nations last year.
“By 2050, India is expected to account for more than 18% of the global working-age population, with more than 100 million newcomers expected to enter the workforce by 2022. Universities and local technology clusters are already producing local start-ups: according to Inc42 DataLabs, India has at least 50 drone start-ups operating with increasing room for growth and innovation. To date, Indian drone start-ups have demonstrated their ability to detect mosquito breeding grounds to help eradicate blood-borne illnesses, assist city planners in mapping urban environments with cost-effectiveness and precision and even deliver fast food to local communities in a safe and reliable way.
“A regulatory environment that enables and supports safe and trustworthy use cases is vital to the successful growth of a drone industry. While this third, increasingly important element is always the biggest barrier to success globally, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is working with the industry to solve the problem. In May 2019, the DGCA released an invitation for collaboration on Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone technologies often seen as the Holy Grail of drone operations. While many nations have tried such experimental programmes, what makes India’s approach different is its framework for collaboration as a consortium, which brings internal and external experts together and enables data sharing in a cohesive way,” according to the report.
The report concludes that drones carrying out environmental monitoring and water management and supply chain functions will also support India’s potential
For more information