The Future of Drones: Terror-Fighting Force to Taco Delivery Fleet?

What will the U.S. do with it's thousands of drones once the War on Terror is over?

PBS' Nova debuted "Rise of the Drones" on Jan. 23, 2013, documenting how these unmanned aircraft have changed the face of war in less than a decade.

Ten years ago, the U.S. owned around 50 drones - now, that number is closer to 7,000, with no hint of slowing down. In fact, the 2012 budget included $5 billion for research, development and procurement of drones. 

The controversy surrounding the use of drones is not new; one question brought out by the documentary, however, is. What will the U.S. do with it's thousands of drones once the War on Terror is over? A federal law signed in February of 2012 compells the Federal Aviation Administration to "allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors — from selling real estate and dusting crops, to monitoring oil spills and wildlife, even shooting Hollywood films," according to the New York Times.  

Local police and emergency services could also send up their own drones. Many of these drones take pictures with very high megapixels - billions of them, in fact. Which basically means they can zoom in and get an accurate picture no matter how far away they are. 

Ideally, in a Utopian society, they would just be used to deliver us tacos, like this company wants to do

What are your thoughts on drones? What do you think their role will be in our future?


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