State Solutions Versus Market Solutions

Technology is a double-edged sword. One edge improves the lives of people. The other edge enables bad people to do bad things. When you want to see both edges of a technology you need only compare how it is used by the state versus the market. Consider drones. States use drones to spy and drop bombs on people. Meanwhile the market utilizes them to provide better services to individuals. Xcel Energy is planning to utilize drones to inspect power infrastructure:

Xcel Energy says it has approval from federal regulators to use drones to inspect more than 320,000 miles of electric and natural gas infrastructure.

The Federal Aviation Administration says Xcel can use the small unmanned aircraft systems to visually inspect electric transmission and distribution lines, power plants, renewable energy facilities, substations and pipelines.

This will allow more reliable provision of power by identifying flaws in the infrastructure before they become a major problem. It will also allow fast identification of problem sources as aerial inspection of power infrastructure is usually faster than ground inspection. Instead of using drones to terrorize entire nations Xcel Energy is another company that has found yet another way to utilize the technology to enhance the lives of people.