According to a US Department of Transportation report, the blockchain could provide an effective solution to the security and data protection issues raised by the rise of commercial drones.
However, the safety of air traffic and the overflight of risk areas (crowds, airports, etc.) are problems to be resolved so that drones are massively adopted for the transport of objects. Reliability and confidence are essential to the use of automated flying machines. This is where the blockchain comes in and provides solutions to the concerns raised.
Thefederal aviation administration ((FAA) and the NASA commonly work together to standardize and standardize industry-wide drone traffic. Similarly, since 2018 Boeing has been developing a traffic management system for drones, based on the blockchain technology and theartificial intelligence.
A serious track notably advocates the development of a black box (like that of airliners) based on the blockchain. This would allow, in the event of an incident, to understand the exact circumstances of the problem. But above all, it would allow better monitoring of the flight patterns of drones, as well as an analysis of data in real time, in order to allow the drone to adapt its flight plan according to the safest route up to to its destination.
It’s on this project that companies Red cat and GoChain joined forces in September 2019 to develop a black box connected to the blockchain and thus make the sky “safer” in their words. Their storage system records, for example, the GPS coordinates, photos and videos of the flight, the integrity of which is guaranteed by storage on a distributed network.
But for the U.S. Department of Transportation, the value of linking drones and blockchain doesn’t stop at parcel transportation. In the report for the month of April, we can indeed find an application, to say the least, drones and blockchain for organ transport. The report takes as an example a kidney transfer made in 2019 between two hospitals using a drone. In this particularly delicate situation, error is not allowed. This is why the use of a drone connected in real time to the blockchain is a real advantage. First, this technology saves time in the transfer; which is essential when you know that every minute spent outside the patient’s body damages the organ. But it’s not just a matter of time. The blockchain then plays a crucial role since it allows all operators in charge of the transfer to have information in real time. The hospital of departure and that of arrival can then follow the path of the organ, check its state and exchange information vital for the health of the patient.
We are only at the beginning of a widespread adoption of drones connected to the blockchain. Nevertheless, the US Department of Transportation is optimistic, as evidenced by the report’s conclusion “the blockchain could be part of an effective and successful regulation, ensuring reliable operation of the machines through the use of surveillance via a recording of their activity protected by blockchain ”.