The following piece is an excerpt from a story written by Andrew Chapman, CEO of Skymount, a Vancouver-based company that provides civilian aerial drone services. Chapman chatted with me as well as a few others in the drone space, including Mike Winn of San Francisco-based Drone Deploy. Read the full story here.
Within some parts of the industry there is a strange aversion to the word ‘drone’, and a great deal of effort is being spent in trying to install some other label in its place.
Even if we all agreed it was a good idea to change from drone to another name and went to great expense launching a worldwide marketing blitz to advertise it, at best we could succeed only in changing the terminology within our industry while the rest of the world continues calling them drones. It is a futile exercise.
For better or worse there is no central arbiter of the english language, it is an organic and evolving beast, a product of the constant flow of media and literature references running through our society. Our industry itself is a tiny, tiny dot within the maelstrom of media discussions and debate around the uses and impacts of this technology for humanity, and no amount of drum beating will convince the much larger majority to stop using a word that they’re perfectly happy with.
Google can also help to show us what images are associated with these terms. When we do an image search for ‘drone’ the results are a fairly balanced mix of military and civilian examples (slightly more commercial than military):
However, when we search for ‘UAV’ and ‘UAS’ the images returned are almost entirely military: