Drones in the World of Tomorrow


MIT technology expert Katja Schechtner talks about the future potential of drones at WIFO-Extern

"After the rapid development in recent years, drones today have the potential to become a reliable technology for civil, commercial and leisure applications. This holds both opportunities and risks for society, especially in the application in the transport sector", says Katja Schechtner, technology expert at the MIT Media Lab and guest professor at the TU Vienna, in her lecture at WIFO-Extern.

"Uncertain sky: drones in the world of tomorrow" was the title of the lecture by MIT technology expert and TU Vienna guest professor Katja Schechtner at WIFO-Extern. Although the use of drones will probably be publicly supported, a comprehensive introduction must go hand in hand with regulation that addresses concerns about privacy, sustainability, competition and security and contrasts the new services with existing transport options. According to Schechtner, the current state regulation of drones tends either to be too restrictive (and therefore hinders further development) or to lag behind (which prevents potential end-users from introducing drones). Politicians must therefore be made familiar with the international developments in the sector, especially with regard to the transport sector. Schechtner, who coordinates a working group at the OECD on "Drones – Acceptability and Integration with the Transport System", presented the rapidly developing concept drafts for drones and drones services and discussed questions of the acceptance of drones and their safe integration into the entire transport system. The use of drones for different applications – both freight and passenger – and their potential to support other modes of transport (logistics optimisation, surveillance, maintenance, emergency services, etc.) were also addressed. In his contribution to the discussion, WIFO traffic expert Philipp Piribauer particularly pointed out that increased use of drones in both freight and passenger traffic has a major impact on the regional urban-rural fabric, which has not only economic but also ecological and social consequences. However, there is still a great deal of research needed to regulate the use of drones as effectively as possible.

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Margit Schratzenstaller-Altzinger

Function: Research staff member, Deputy director
Photo: WIFO
Photo: WIFO