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Annual sales in the United States are expected to reach 7 million units by 2020, and many are already predicting a future in which drones reshape our cities – through remote delivery of goods, airborne surveillance or as yet unforeseen applications.Yet one possibility has captured our collective imagination more than any other: the idea that drones will soon be moving people over cities en masse. Though drones will have many important uses in the future, I do not believe moving people around cities will, or should, be one of them.Imagine if all of the city's 8 million residents took even one flight every few weeks: The city would become unlivable.Even with dramatically improved batteries extending drones' range, the crush of vehicles needed to move large numbers of people overhead would present a daunting safety hazard. Modern cars may be dangerous, but a dead battery or a broken rotor blade in a flying taxi would cause a heavy vehicle to fall onto a densely populated area. Drones are already monitoring air quality and providing support during health emergencies.
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