Reuters reported yesterday that the wide interest in the us initiative, launched by President Donald Trump, underscores the desire of a broad range of companies to have a say in how the fledgling industry is regulated and ultimately win authority to operate drones for everything from package delivery to crop inspection.
First announced last October, the UAS program aims to partner the FAA with local, state and tribal governments, along with private sector technology companies, to explore the integration of drone operations across industries. "I have asked the FAA to reach out to many other applicants in coming months and weeks to talk about how they may be able to move forward with their proposals".
The UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Integration Pilot Program is created to tackle some of the challenges of integrating drones into national airspace, particularly how to reduce risks to public safety.
Flirtey, which has tested a variety of ways to deliver goods using small drones, is part of a test program operated by Reno, along with three other program winners. In Reno, drones will carry defibrillators to heart attack victims.
The unmanned devices will be used for multiple purposes in Memphis, said Scott Brockman, president of Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. Intel and two GE subsidiaries are partners for the Memphis project. Over the next three years, those areas will test out their ideas and systems to determine whether it's possible to safely integrate drones that are flying on their own, beyond the line of sight of a human pilot, day and night, into the air above United States citizens. The data collected will help the USDOT and the FAA craft new regulations.
Uber is working on air-taxi technology and will deliver food by drone in San Diego, California. Another partner is General Electric Co, he said.
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Now Apple can use drones to acquire various data of urban areas and to improve the quality of "map" function. The company says, however, that its stance on privacy will remain the same throughout its use of drones.
Handling local issues, such as whether your neighbor can get a package delivered by drone at midnight, would be a hard challenge for the Federal Aviation Administration, according to experts. So far, regulations don't permit flights over people or over long distances, and the agency has been cautious about approving waivers to allow such operations.
Launched last year, the new U.S. drone testing initiative puts the country on the map of countries with standardised drone regulation mechanisms, a sector where USA had been lagging for the past few years.
Missing from the projects are Amazon.com Inc, the world's largest online retailer, and China's DJI, the world's largest maker of non-military drones.
One of Flirtey's drones, delivering a 7-Eleven order.
You could soon see more drones flying in the Mid-South.