Archives for November 2016

Over 500,000 registered drones in the U.S.

By Dr. Robert L. Gordon | 11/21/2016 | 4:02 AM

To date, there are over 500,000 registered drones in the U.S., and there are over 20,000 registered commercial operators of drones.  The FAA advises that over 3,300 people signed up to take the aeronautical knowledge test, which is one of the new requirements to operate a drone in the U.S.  The FAA estimates that more than 600,000 commercial drones could be in operation by 2017. 

These clear statistics and projects are the first quantifiable evidence to support the 100,000 jobs and $82 billion-dollar economy that drones represent.  The evidence is overwhelming at this point that drone will be a de-facto part of our lives soon.  Although the 100,000 jobs and $82 billion-dollar economy number has been projected in the past, the registrations and number of companies that are being registered with the FAA offer massive potential for drones.  Some people in government and business have concerns about this growth and potential; there are already many different applications that are on the horizon. 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have already delivered medicine to remote areas, delivered burritos to hungry college students as well as being used to detect radiation and chemical leaks.  Current FAA rules require that drones remain within line of sight of the operator, the testing of UAV that operate beyond the line of sight are already being tested in The Netherlands.  Nokia is already working on technology to allow automatic flight control that can operate independently of a line-of-sight operator.  Nokia is working on an App that will allow for drone operations that can monitor drones in real time. 

Furthermore, the British Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy had a joint exercise in October where the navies of these nations tested unmanned, unarmed surface, underwater, and aerial vehicles.  With all this activity both commercially and with different militaries, is it any wonder that there appears to be a lot of potential in the future of UAV. 

Given all this activity by many of the major players in multiple industries, there is no doubt that the world of the drone is changing and changing rapidly.  Technology is moving forward faster than governments can legislate, making enforcement even more difficult.  However, this burning innovation will certainly help bring home many new technologies that will improve our lives.  The concern of some is how will these new technologies impact our future freedoms.  The nature and activities of drones and the impact on freedom remain an open question for the future.

Smarter cities of the future

By Dr. Robert L. Gordon | 11/01/2016 | 5:53 AM

Guest Post by Kandis Wyatt, Transportation & Logistics Associate Professor, American Public University

Traffic Congestion seems to be a common occurrence in major cities. Traffic Congestion, over time, can increase pollution rates, heighten noise levels, threaten economic growth, and increase commuting times. In fact, some studies have shown that traffic congestion can lead to health risks due to increased pollution levels.  Several techniques have been implemented to reduce traffic congestion including implementing telework policies for employees, widening roads, creating high-occupancy vehicle lanes, offering subsidies for employees to take mass transit to/from work, installing bike lanes, and carpooling. However, here’s another technology – smart technology- that can help lower traffic congestion as well.

How does it work?

Using smart technology, simple, everyday outdoor items such as a traffic light or a trash can help reduce congestion (Segraves, 2016). Trash cans will let the city know when they need to be filled. As a result, garbage trucks would be deployed on an as-needed basis. Also, motion detectors on street lights can help notify drivers when a parking spot is available. On a larger scale, cameras can monitor and predict traffic patterns. Think if this smart technology was connected to your phone or your vehicle – it could help re-direct you in real time. Smart technology has many advantages (Segraves, 2016). For example, motion detectors installed on street lights can save money over time. Also, the light can notify the dispatch location when they need to be replaced. All this technology can be input into a master system to optimize routes (Segraves, 2016).

Smart technology is already being developed by companies like SmartUp Cities in Europe to implement and deploy these smart technologies in urban centers.  In fact, Barcelona has already implemented many of these technologies and currently is one of Smartest City in Europe.  The advantages are clear, and so we should expect that more metropolitan areas will move to becoming smarter sooner than we think.



Segraves, M. (2016). D.C. Plans Streetlights that Save Money, Offer Wi-Fi, Help with Parking. Retrieved from http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/tech/DC-Smart-Streetlights-Save-Money-Wi-Fi-Help-Parking-Smart-Trash-Cans-397648271.html

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is program director of the Reverse Logistics department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has over twenty-five years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. He holds a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA. Dr. Gordon has spent more than 14 years teaching reverse logistics, transportation, project management, and human resources. He has published articles on reverse logistics; supply chain management; project management; human resources; education, and complexity. He has also published four books on Reverse Logistics Management; Complexity and Project Management; Virtual Project Management Organizations, and Successful Program Management..

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