United States gives green light to drone delivery test program

10 May, 2018, 14:33 | Author: Bertha Harmon
  • 10 teams win federal approval to push the limits with drones, but Amazon's left out

Paul Anderson, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, said state officials were disappointed the statewide application was not selected.

Winner Virginia Tech said that Alphabet's Project Wing, AT&T Inc, Intel, Airbus and Dominion Energy Inc are among the partners for its pilot program that will explore emergency management, package delivery and infrastructure inspection. Amazon's angle clearly relates to package deliveries, with a 2016 United Kingdom experiment resulting in a delivery time of just 13 minutes between hitting the one-click order button and the package being dropped off.

The startup will have to hire more people, ramp up its testing and add more features to its drones - all of which will require more money, and Flirtey will complete another financing round this year, Siegel said. A rigorous process was cited in conjunction with Amazon's rejection, but deputy transportation secretary Jeff Rosen said there were "no losers".

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China's SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd said it submitted about a dozen applications.

Nevada will "continue to work closely with the FAA as one of seven designated UAS test sites and look for new opportunities to accelerate the integration of the technology into our airspace, economy and daily lives for the benefit of all Nevadans", Anderson said.

Flirtey pioneered the first FAA-approved fully autonomous drone delivery in an urban environment on March 25, 2015 in Hawthorne.

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"Apple is committed to protecting people's privacy, including processing this data to blur faces and licence plates prior to publication", the company said. Current rules prohibit nighttime drone flights or operations over people without a waiver from the FAA. The data collected from these operations will help the USDOT and the FAA craft new enabling rules that allow more complex low-altitude operations, identify ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration, improve communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions, address security and privacy risks, and accelerate the approval of operations that now require special authorizations.

The FAA has said regulations are necessary to protect the public and the National Airspace System from bad actors or errant hobbyists. The projects are focused on enabling long-range pipeline inspection, agricultural surveying, and defibrillator delivery by drone.

Apple is one of a number of big companies seeking permission to be part of a new USA drone testing program, launched by President Donald Trump past year.

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