It is no secret that drones are getting a lot of hype these days, a phenomenon that really kicked into high gear when Jeff Bezos announced on 60 Minutes his intention to utilize drones to make Amazon deliveries. Now it seems like every company is looking into drone technology (including the so-called biobots), and some counties and municipalities are actively encouraging drone startups to set up shop in their areas to capitalize on this trend. One such area is Cape May County, NJ.
Cape May County is a perfect location for drone testing because it has large swaths of land over which test flights can be launched. In addition, the county recently received approval from the FAA to operate drones in an 800-mile airspace around the Atlantic City International Airport. Finally, the area is catering to tech-savvy companies by creating incubator offices as well as an investor pool.
All of this, of course, is great news! EPP is based on South Jersey, and being located within an area that is on the cutting edge of drone technology can only help enhance the restoration efforts of local utilities. For example, drones can be used to help emergency responders identify where people need help in the aftermath of a disaster that takes down communication towers. The drones could even have a communication tower mounted to them, which could be deployed when necessary. They could also be deployed to conduct inspections of overhead wires and poles, which would be particularly useful in remote areas.
There is little doubt that drones are the wave of the future when it comes to emergency restoration, and, much like Cape May County, it’s a trend that I feel compelled to embrace. Forget the hounds…release the drones!