The Future of Drones and 5G
Verizon believes drones present a growth opportunity for its budding 5G network and aims to be the first carrier to connect 1 million 5G drones flights. At present 270,000 drones are registered in the USA. This number is forecast to reach 800,000 in 2022. A 5G network like Verizon’s can boost the utility of drones in a number of ways:
- 5G will enable drones to transmit high-definition footage in real-time. 5G’s millisecond latency and data speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G allows drones to transmit high-quality footage to operators on the ground. This enables drones to be used for functions like infrastructure safety inspections, where the drone operator must be able to see patches of rust or smalls cracks, for instance.
- Drones with a 5G connection can use AI to complete complicated tasks more efficiently. The ability to transmit data quickly enables drones to be enhanced with AI and outperform drones with a 4G connection. For example, a drone with computer vision can rapidly scan items in a warehouse and recognize patterns, which can improve efficiency and free up human workers to do more complicated tasks.
- 5G’s low latency will enable precise tracking of drone fleets. As more drones begin to fly, stricter monitoring is needed to ensure they do not crash or drift into restricted areas, causing property damage or injuries. 5G’s low latency can minimize lag so operators can avoid collisions and better coordinate takeoffs and landings.
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