Driver's license delivery by drone? It could happen in Dubai

Wed, 2014-02-19 06:00 -- Liz Enbysk

In a bid to ramp up government services using technology, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is contemplating the use of drones to deliver government documents like driver's licenses and national ID cards to citizens.

In fact, the AP reports that the oil-rich Gulf state is putting up a $1 million international prize for inventions that use unmanned aircraft to improve the quality of life. A second prize is being offered for ideas to use drones to improve government services.

The overall goal, though, is improving government services. "We want to reach to people before they reach us. We want to save time, to shorten distances, to increase effectiveness and to make services easier," Dubai's ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a statement.

According to the AP report, the government says the drones would include fingerprint- and eye-recognition security systems to protect the drones and their cargo.

Dubai, the UAE's commercial hub known for its glitzy buildings as well as an interest in pioneering smart technologies, would be a likely testing ground for drone deliveries. And while residential drone deliveries face obstacles in the U.S. – highlighted recently when Amazon.com said it is testing package delivery by drone – the UAE's regulatory framework is expected to prove less restrictive.

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