The first driverless vehicles were developed in Great Britain and the United States during the First World War. The British Aerial Target, a small radio-controlled aircraft, was first tested in March 1917, while the American aerial torpedo known as the Kettering Bug first flew in October 1918. In response, the Queen Bee de Havilland DH 82B aircraft, a low-cost radio-controlled drone developed for aerial shooting, was used. Many consider it to be the first modern drone. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a pilot, crew, or human passengers on board.
Unmanned aerial vehicles were originally developed throughout the 20th century for military missions that were too boring, dirty, or dangerous for humans, and by the 21st century, they had become essential assets for most armies. As control technologies improved and costs declined, their use spread to many non-military applications. These include aerial photography, precision agriculture, wildfire monitoring, river monitoring, environmental monitoring, police and surveillance, infrastructure inspections, smuggling, product delivery, entertainment, and drone racing. The Early Days of Drones When you think of a drone, you probably don't have a 19th-century attack balloon in mind.
Actually, the first drone was developed by the British in 1916, after the start of the First World War. Although the initial technology was promising, the British Army did not continue to pursue it. Recognizing its importance, they tried multiple times to assassinate the British engineer who developed the technology (and later adapted it for their V1 rocket program in World War II). Drones offer easy-to-use aerial photography and are generally much cheaper (and much more flexible) than other forms of aerial photography.
Drones, better known formally as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, are unpiloted aircraft that are guided remotely or autonomously by means of on-board computers and GPS. These unmanned military drones, called Ruston Proctor Aerial Target, used a radio guidance system developed by British engineer Archibald Low. The Americans then reverse-engineered the technology and developed their Pulsejet-powered unmanned aerial drones, such as the TD2D-1 Katydid and the Curtiss KD2C.