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Drones On Demand

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the but-you-can't-demand-none dept.

Transportation 49

mikejuk (1801200) writes "Gofor is a new company that is promoting the idea of drones on demand. All you have to do is use the app to request a drone and it shows you were they are and how long before one reaches your location. You want to take the ultimate selfie? Scout ahead to see if the road is clear or just find a parking space? No problem just task a drone to do the job. For the photo you simply flash your phone camera at it and it pinpoints your location for an aerial selfie. If it is scouting ahead then it shows you what awaits you via a video link. See the promo video to see how it might work. Flight of fancy? Possibly but the company claims to be operational in five US cities." I wish my car had a drone for instant scouting of traffic-jam alternates.

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Paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803009)

That's all we need. Now I'll have to install sunglasses in my tinfoil hat. If they can see your eyes, they can identify you, and then they can drone your ass.

Re:Paranoia (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 9 months ago | (#46803281)

Yes, I'd like to order a drone with an m-16 attached. I'll pay cash. I'll need it by 4th and main st, between 7 and 8 am, any weekday is fine.

Re:Paranoia (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#46806409)

On demand? Are they 3D printed, "just in time"?

Ah, the beginning of the end. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803015)

Privacy from drones isn't a right, we're relying on their lack of market saturation right now. Wait a while, shit is about to get invasive.

Re:Ah, the beginning of the end. (4, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 9 months ago | (#46803181)

"Drones" have been around since decades, just that they weren't called that before. Those flying radio controlled toys are just the same thing. The main difference is that today cameras are small, light and good enough to be carried by them.

Re:Ah, the beginning of the end. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46806043)

That's not really accurate.

Drones are partly autonomous (a typical example being ones that can be programed with GPS waypoints and navigate the plotted course while out of contact with the base station). The technology to do that reliably enough that it was cheaper to build and repair/replace a camera equipped drone than it would have been to hire a manned helicopter/plane is fairly new.

Re:Ah, the beginning of the end. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 months ago | (#46806319)

Considering that the cost of a consumer drone is now down to $60 (I ordered one from Amazon over the weekend) yes, you're quite correct.

From the Department of Drones (1)

Extide (1002782) | about 9 months ago | (#46803017)


Comment on this story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803047)

If a 0-day vulnerability is exploited by a foreign entity, the risks of drones can outweigh their benefits by cosmic-type magnitudes.

Personal Traffic Jam Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803053)

You need to talk to Pops Racer about getting a drone installed in your car.

He put one in for his son Speed. All Speed has to do is hit a little button on his steering wheel and out comes the drone. He then uses a little joystick in the center console to control it. It even relays video signals back to the car!

And consider that all this was thought up back in the '60s!

Re:Personal Traffic Jam Drones (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#46803257)

I have always thought a small car-mounted drone could be incredibly useful. Even if it could not be used above say 10MPH, just something that could pop up a few hundred feet in the air to give you a quick overview would be awesome.

Especially for finding parking.

Re:Personal Traffic Jam Drones (1)

d'baba (1134261) | about 9 months ago | (#46803279)

Yeah, every car should have one or two. D'oh!

Re:Personal Traffic Jam Drones (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 9 months ago | (#46805705)

Sounds good, but only if you have a 2nd driver (for the drone) onboard. Otherwise, regardless of how self-piloting the drone is, you should be parked, stationary and out of the way of any traffic, before giving attention over to a flying vehicle with 3 degrees of freedom and a crappy blurry jumpy video feed.

This terrifies me. (1)

iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) | about 9 months ago | (#46803075)

I mean, the internet alone is worthy of paranoia. Adding internet connected portable cameras that can easily track me down with a small sliver of information?

Ignoring the Government Surveillance ramifications, giving some random 8 or 9 year old kid (or *insert suitable opposing government hacker here*) the capacity to tap into and take over these mobile platforms gives me shivers. I'm not saying that this is something that legislation should deal with (Thanks for cocking everything up US Gov) but where the hell does this path end? I mean, it's a slippery slope, and my opinion on it changes daily, but.... gah. The implications are staggering.

Re:This terrifies me. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803093)

Come Lord Jesus, Halleluiah! Come soon, Halleluiah!

Re:This terrifies me. (2)

unrtst (777550) | about 9 months ago | (#46805859)

... giving some random 8 or 9 year old kid ... the capacity to tap into and take over these mobile platforms gives me shivers.

Not sure about 8 or 9, but I'm pretty sure I know what I'd be doing with them in my teens (as wrong as I know that is). In short, you're safe.

How long before the FAA stops this? (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#46803089)

How long before the FAA stops this?

and if some ones dies will the guy behind this do some hard time?

Re:How long before the FAA stops this? (2)

Cardcaptor_RLH85 (891550) | about 9 months ago | (#46803133)

A federal judge recently ruled [bloomberg.com] that the FAA has no authority over "small unmanned aircraft." Which effectively kills the FAA's regulations that said commercial drone use in the US was illegal. As far as liability in case of death is concerned, it'll probably be handled similarly to any other accident. If it is determined that malice, negligence, or recklessness is involved then there will probably be jail time. If it's just an unfortunate and/or unavoidable accident then probably not.

Re:How long before the FAA stops this? (2)

ColaMan (37550) | about 9 months ago | (#46803229)

That's a little odd. CASA here in Australia has authoritah over most aerial devices and imposes a licensing arrangement (for those using them in a commercial manner) and a restriction that they have to maintain at least 30 metres from people.

Someone in a triathlon got whacked in the head [abc.net.au] just recently with a drone - the person flying it will be in a world of hurt once CASA finishes discussions with them.

Note that if it had been some kid fooling about in the park CASA would not have been interested, but once it becomes 'for profit', they start to take notice. Which is probably a reasonable distinction to take - 'for profit' types will generally be using more of them, more often, and licensing requirements can also mandate that they have adequate insurance and minimum safety requirements.

Re:How long before the FAA stops this? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 9 months ago | (#46805747)

Australia has been doing drones "legally" for a whole lot longer than the U.S.

Here, it was just forbidden for commercial use, period (well, sure, you can do it with some special paperwork and exemption certificates and hearings and....). Interesting development if it is freely legal now.

Re:How long before the FAA stops this? (3, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | about 9 months ago | (#46803253)

Which effectively kills the FAA's regulations that said commercial drone use in the US was illegal.

No it doesn't. The ruling affects the case at hand only -- not precedent-setting, and the matter is still under dispute with the FAA appealing.

It is quite possible the FAA could kill this company and apply some severe penalties.

Model planes (2)

bussdriver (620565) | about 9 months ago | (#46803577)

I distinctly remember that there are laws regulating (banning) remote controlled model planes that fly out of your range of sight. These "drones" are just remote controlled planes over greater distances and with the automatically positioning ones they can fly themselves programmatically but it is still you picking the moves it makes and your computer that does those moves for you. It is similar to a computerized controller helping you fly a model better; which existed arguably since control mechanisms 1st started to do really minor corrections or medium ones like turning around when out of range. I don't see how new laws would be needed for those so called "drones." It's under the toy plane rules until it has no remote controlling computer.

Self contained without the need for communication during the flight makes it another thing probably needing new rules. Not a toy remote control aircraft anymore. Ultralights are the least regulated thing I can think of but they are human piloted and unless that is the definition... couldn't an autonomous "drone" be labeled an ultralight instead of a normal aircraft?

One ruling in 1 case doesn't make a broad answer on this matter. Maybe that 1 case might be OK; but you'd have to be full of shit to think that any FAA laws only applied to directly human controlled aircraft. The intent of those laws should be obvious even if the letter is not. They never imagined these safety regulations up thinking of only 1 kind of plane and not have them apply to helicopters or jets - they are primarily for safety. New rules on these are needed; however, I can't imagine how the FAA can't have authority. (Ultralights which have almost no rules are still under FAA.)

Re:How long before the FAA stops this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46804907)

I seriously doubt a judge would stop them though.

Cool! But questions arise... (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 9 months ago | (#46803145)

1. Do I have to specify the name of the person I want to rub out on the application site, or do I just type it into the iPhone app?
2. Does it do a Soundex match if there is any confusion of names, or do I have to get the SSN?
3. Does it work if he is indoors, or does he have to be outdoors?
4. Do special rules apply if the operation crosses state lines? In California? Day or night?
5. Do I get a choice of weapons? For style, I want a flamethrower.
6. Will it send a confirmation text with a picture?

Another important one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803227)

Do I get a discount if I order 10000 of them to the same spot at the same time?

Re:Cool! But questions arise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803251)

I've got a little list

Re:Cool! But questions arise... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803269)

1. *BEEEEEP, target confirmed "All of humanity." If this is correct say 'yes'

You "No, NO! NO god damn it!"

*BEEEEEEP "You have said... 'yes'. Target confirmed as all of humanity. Estimated time completeion... Eight, months. Thank you for choosing Gofor, a subsidiary of Cyberdyne Systems.

You already have a scouting drone for driving (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#46803191)

I wish my car had a drone for instant scouting of traffic-jam alternates.

You do, it's called the Waze user that is ten minutes ahead of you down the road, mixed with many road sensors reporting traffic flow rates.

If you are using navigation many mapping applications automatically route around traffic issues (including Waze). I personally just have it up while driving, not really using navigation but just to keep an eye on traffic rates and issues. I've turned off many a highway before to avoid a Waze reported issue and taken a pretty obvious alternate route you could see at a glance on the map.

For anyone that has not tried leaving modern mapping applications open with traffic status enabled, I highly recommend it - just get a decent car mount so it's easy to see the display. I recommend Waze in particular only because it's one of the best at taking in user reports as to police or road hazards (like chair in right lane! just one example of something I have reported in the past).

Re:You already have a scouting drone for driving (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#46803863)

It costs about five to ten bucks more to get traffic with an old-school GPS, too — if you buy last year's refurb instead of this year's model. Get one with lifetime maps and you lose nothing, sometimes it's literally a styling change.

Where I live, cellular coverage is spotty. Traffic doesn't work there, but then online GPS doesn't work there at all.

Re:You already have a scouting drone for driving (1)

gweilo8888 (921799) | about 9 months ago | (#46805099)

Why waste your money on a standalone GPS when you already have all of the same hardware in your smartphone? Garmin, TomTom et al. are dinosaurs. With Sygic, I have lifetime maps for the majority of the world for next to nothing (and they're the exact same maps you get in a TomTom device). * disclaimer: I have no connection to Sygic except as a paying, satisfied customer

Fermi Paradox answered... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 9 months ago | (#46803223)

Now we know what happens, -ed to intelligent life at a certain stage.

f2uck! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803315)

about 4 pRoject [goat.cx]

tinfoil hat time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803401)

I think this troll is the work of Eric Schmidtty and friends trying to scare the public into requiring regulations, so that only big corporations like Google, Amazon, etc. are allowed to fly drones. They of course will be happy to lend a hand in writing these obviously desperately needed regulations.

If it's not, then it's an asshat who is helping toward that end unwittingly, and deserves to be smacked hard in the head with a drone.

Captcha: imperial

informative DoolDoll (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803621)

come here bu=t now

ultimate selfie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46803641)

"ultimate" literally means "last"
If want to take the ultimate selfie, you have to die afterward to ensure that no further selfie can be taken.

I Wish I Had One for Revenuers (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 9 months ago | (#46804137)

With the police out in force on Easter Sunday, I'm sure their purpose was to make us all safer. I saw no less than six vehicles pulled over in under an hour. Now, I'd be fine with this if they were pulling over those who were drifting aimlessly as they chatted, texted, read the paper, etc., or those who tailgated. But, it's way too easy to obtain their quotas by nabbing the people who break the "nine your fine, ten your mine" rule.

Mach 5 Homing Pidgeon (1)

jwillis84 (1404829) | about 9 months ago | (#46804141)

So drones are going to scout ahead on the race track for all vehicles now?

That's real Transcendance.. from Anime to Reality

I won't be satisfied until I can call a drone to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46804403)

fire a weapon at someone I feel is threatening me. I believe the 2nd amendment can be interpreted to include access to armed drones/robots. This would be better than concealed carrying of weapons. I say give everyone the ability to call in a drone strike. THAT will create the more POLITE society that the gun nuts have been dreaming about.

Traffic jams? Parking? (3, Informative)

dasunt (249686) | about 9 months ago | (#46804445)

Let me tell you how this will work, if it's a plausible business plan. First, the early adopters will benefit. Then, as more and more people use it, it will encourage more traffic as the opportunity "cost" (traffic jams & parking) can be partially mitigated. Finally, it'll evolve to the same point as before, or even worse - everyone will be trying to avoid the jams, everyone will be going for the same parking spot, and the next big thing will come along promising to solve both problems.

I solved both issues by bicycling to work. It saves $15 for parking (plus around $2 for gas, wear & tear, depreciation, etc on the car, at a conservative $0.25/mi) or about $4.50 in bus fare.

It also has helped me lose about 30 pounds.

I've known other people who do a combination car/bike ride - drive to the outskirts, then park in a residential neighborhood, grab their bike, and commute through the traffic and navigate parking that way.

Assuming you're fit, and can dress for the weather, it's actually easier to avoid all the problems of driving in dense urban areas.

So yes, just checking in with a smug post. :p

Women in Bikinis (1)

cgfsd (1238866) | about 9 months ago | (#46804639)

Why do I picture an attractive woman in a bikini sun bathing in her back yard surrounded by thousands of drone?
Oh wait, screw the drones, I am still picturing the attractive woman in a bikini....

Didn't Speed Racer have such a drone in the Mach-5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46804825)

Didn't Speed Racer have such a drone in the Mach-5?

traffic drones (1)

doug141 (863552) | about 9 months ago | (#46804977)

Since google maps already has a traffic layer that shows me the congestion along my route (and 2 alternate routes), why would one need or want a flying traffic drone?

Operating *legally* in 5 cities? (1)

Anathem (1983388) | about 9 months ago | (#46805803)

They claim to be operating in 5 cities, yet the FAA will not allowed commercial use of drones before it's finalized its rules on the subject.

These drones aren't big enough or armed (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 9 months ago | (#46806085)

I want a drone that I can call in when the person at the head of the line sits through an entire red light without making a right turn when it is safe to do so, thus holding everyone up and costing us money by idling. The drone has to be able to lift the heaviest, non-commercial vehicles.

Conversely, I want a drone armed with Hellfire missiles to take out the asshats who drive during inclement weather without their headlights on, weave in and out of traffic just to get one car ahead and the ones who blatantly run red lights when the opposing traffic has the green light.

Oh, and the same goes for bicyclists who believe the rules of the road don't apply to them (i.e. running red lights, driving against traffic and cutting in front of people).

You realize this is an art project, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46806427)

It's an art project hoax. And a great one at that. :)

Um, No. (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 9 months ago | (#46806493)

"I wish my car had a drone for instant scouting of traffic-jam alternates."

No, you wish your car could listen in on the currently aloft drone to get traffic updates.

Having your own drone would cause a drone traffic jam overhead, with all the other well-provisioned drivers releasing their own drones. Auto-avoidance? yeah, that's working pretty well on the road, hence the lack of need for these drones at all.

You just want more than Google Maps and Waze does now. Good luck with that.

So much hype... (2)

Oceanplexian (807998) | about 9 months ago | (#46806737)

As someone who builds model aircraft, multirotors (aka 'drones'), and flies these things as a hobby -- man this video infuriates me.

These guys really think the FAA is going to let a business fly a flying projectile through the middle of San Francisco using Chinese-made hobby-grade equipment, with no formal airworthiness standards and no understanding of why we have federal airspace in the first place?
Who's going to be responsible when the thing loses a flight controller and it spins out of control into someone's car/house/child? This video is riddled with technical failings.

The worst part of this is a disturbing trend of: 'Hey, let's just ignore all the real-world problems and make a slick video'. Somewhere along the way, all these kids in San Francisco forgot that you need to put in effort before bragging about something.
We don't need social media affixed to toy helicopters, we need real engineering and hard work.

Publicity Stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46812657)

This video looks like something that belongs on the SyFy channel. The level of technology involved is at least 5 years off (for consumers). The guys responsible for this are probably artists pulling a stunt to promote themselves or just wanting to become famous.

Green Hornet, Black Beauty's scanner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46813359)

Is anybody remembering the Scanner that launched out of the trunk of the Black Beauty in the Green Hornet tv show ???

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