As UAVs gain traction in cities, they will push positioning and communication technologies to their limits. There’s a lot 5G will be able to offer to drones.

It’s become almost impossible to conjure up an image of the city of the future without picturing drones hovering in the air and unmanned autonomous vehicles roaming the streets and sidewalks. Potential applications abound, with the aerial delivery of consumer goods and vital medicines, traffic, infrastructure, and pollution monitoring, and surveillance. On the ground, autonomous robots can deliver food and parcels, offer public services such as tourist information, and safety and healthcare services. Not to mention the myriad opportunities they present for entertainment, retail, and advertising.

It’s an exciting prospect that is inching closer to reality year to year, with Coherent Market Insights projecting the Robots as a Service market to reach US$ 41.3 billion by 2028. But for these use cases to take hold, the drones and ground robots will need to comply with regulations that policymakers have yet to draft, in order to ensure that they add value to the urban residents they serve, and don’t wind clogging busy sidewalks or otherwise becoming a nuisance…