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Drones have slowly got into normal parlance, as its usage increases in lots of areas, the first interface being photography. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs, had it birth in the US Army. An excellent tool for military operations; border surveillance, reconnaissance, transport & armed attacks. The US military increased its investment in research & production of UAVs from $2.3 billion in 2008 to $ 4.2 billion in 2012. UAVs have a proven track record. R & D will decide its fate.

UAVs in its civilian avatar is making waves with China taking the lead. Its already put to use from city videography, to retail to law & order. This adds a new dimension; an ultimate input in our decision making. Views / Data unseen and unheard. Drones helps in data collection in a big way, right there from where it happens with no extrapolation. Decision making is enabled whether it’s military strategy or sales strategy. Israel is the biggest exporter today. The proliferation of technology throws up immense business opportunities.

Modern world is a business enabled world. Who would make the largest of the Apple Pie? Would India see the Drone Revolution passing by, ending up as users. The South Korean Winter Olympics opening ceremony brought drones to the center stage. A spectacle of technology, precision, research, perseverance with beauty & aesthetics created on imagination & creativity. All created by Intel. The world drone market would reach nearing $17 billion by 2022, the present at $8.5 billion.

Unregulated capitalist markets do not sustain & this burgeoning market ought to be regulated. The national draft policy on operation of Civil Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems is in the right direction. Enforcement mechanism & technological development should happen together. The challenges of Cyber Security may afflict it, in a big way. The threat vectors & surface area is huge. Vulnerability audit & risk assessment are a necessity. A safe, secure drone regime is in the making.


Sanjay Sahay

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