Mon, 18 November 2019
Ben Marcus is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Airmap, a company that develops the digital infrastructure, standards, and services for drones to fly safely at scale. Basically they create the digital highways that allow for drones to fly. He grew up near an airport and was always fascinated with aviation.
He became a pilot, a flight instructor and eventually a flight test engineer who certified planes. And it was while he was learning to fly that he began his journey to come up with the idea for AirMap.
Ben says, “When I was a flight instructor flying over Los Angeles, I used to fly every day, and have a student next to me, look down at the freeways, and they're jammed packed with people. These cars are just stopped, and I felt so bad for all these miserable people stuck in traffic and I'm the only one up here in the sky. And I was like, "Why is there not more people in the sky with me?" And so, I've dedicated my life and my career to helping extend the benefits of flight to more and more people in their daily lives.”
So what do drones have to do with the future of work? The fact is drones are already being used in a lot of industries to help with cost savings, employee safety, and training. Ben gave an example of how the telecommunications industry is using drones to help with the process of inspecting their antennas. This process is usually dangerous for human workers as well as time consuming, but now the drones are easily and safely able to take video of the equipment that employees can then review to ensure everything is working properly.
In the future we will also see drones used in more science fiction-like ways. Ben believes that drones will have a huge impact on the world of talent because we will be able to fly to work. This will change how organizations think about where to put their headquarters and how individual employees think about where to live.
“If you can fly to work, you can avoid all of that lost productivity, all of that expense, and you can basically live where you want. If you can fly at 100 miles an hour instead of being stuck in traffic at 20 miles an hour, you could live five times further away and have the same commute time. So I actually think that this is gonna lead to a de-urbanization trend and I think it will counter a lot of the negative consequences that have come from urbanization. I think we can have a lot more green space, we need far fewer parking lots and fewer roads. We can have a much more environmentally sustainable way of life going forward. So that's a really exciting future.”
Ben’s advice to business leaders is if you haven’t started working with drones yet and implementing them in ways across your organization, you should start now, because your competitors are most likely already working with drones.
“Many of these large enterprises that have been experimenting with drones are now moving from an experimentation phase into a scaling phase where they maybe have had a drone initiative in their innovation department and they're now moving that across the enterprise and figuring out how they can really make this a part of their workflow, how the data that's collected from drones can be integrated into their ERP systems, how do you really make this a part of the fabric of how our company operates? That's happening now in a lot of businesses across lots of industries all around the world. So, it's not too late, but you should get started right now.”
What you will learn: