The drone industry is growing rapidly, and many drone companies are pushing the limits of what is possible with drone technology. Engineering feats are being accomplished throughout the industry, making drones more complex and more affordable. There are numerous benefits associated with the use of drone technology. This technology can save lives and support law enforcement through search and rescue efforts. It can streamline the management of infrastructure and land. This positive impact will become more widespread as drones become more advanced and more accessible. However, there are also major risks associated with the advancement of drone technology.
One recent product launch in the drone industry is the Interceptor drone. The Interceptor is an autonomous drone that can locate, track, and bring down targets. Currently, the Interceptor is used to take down drones that are violating airspace restrictions. The Interceptor identifies these rogue drones and will charge directly at a violating drone at speeds in excess of 100 mph to collide with it, destroying only the rogue drone in the process. This technology is intended as a defense mechanism against other drones, but it is not hard to imagine the repurposing of this technology in potentially devastating ways. The ability to locate, track, and take down targets could quickly become extremely dangerous if used in an offensive manner rather than as a defensive mechanism.
The U.S. military is taking steps to prevent dangerous drone technology from spreading into the wrong hands. The House Homeland Security Committee recently passed two bills blocking purchases of drones from certain countries. It also created a new position at the Department of Homeland Security to address drone-related security threats. However, it is difficult to completely restrict the purchase of drones due to the use of drones in positive ways. Several government agencies rely on drones. The Department of Interior has more than 500 drones used to monitor federal land and natural resources. Drones are also used in local governments to support law enforcement. Finding the right balance between these positive benefits and the potential risks of drone technology is an ethical issue that will require strict regulation and oversight, especially as the technology behind drones continues to rapidly advance.