In technological terms, a drone is a land, sea, or air vehicle that is remotely or automatically controlled. It is increasingly used by the military to minimize casualties, particularly as decoys for enemy attacks and to defuse bombs. Extensive drone deployment occurs along the Pakistani border regions.
Smaller drones are used by hobbyists and media producers for short-range aerial photography. Some companies have hyped the use of delivery drones for books or pizza, but this is still in the experimental phase.
- Although the Federal Aviation Administration announced rules in 2016 that would it easier for businesses to legally use drones, there's still much work to be done before a national drone delivery system will be in effect. For example, companies still can't legally fly drones at night or outside the line of sight of their operators without special exemption—two possible barriers to routine drone deliveries.
About 10 years ago, when Amazon announced a plan to deliver packages within 30 minutes, they projected it would take 4 to 5 years before consumers can start getting Prime Air delivery.