Apple to participate in pilot program allowing expanded operation of drones

MGN Online

That is usually curbed by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States.

"Technology is developing so rapidly that our country has reached a tipping point", Chao said. The goal is that these pilot programs will inform future nationwide regulations on drone deployment.

Each project matches a drone company with a local government to develop the technology, our sister site CNET reported.

Other agencies approved by the FAA sought to use new drone projects related to checking pipelines and other infrastructure, border security, controlling mosquitoes and delivering medical equipment.

FedEx ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest North American for-hire carriers.

The 10 pilot drone test projects selected from 149 applications are in California, Tennessee, North Dakota, Nevada, Kansas and other states.

FedEx won't be dropping any emergency supplies of toothpaste on your front porch, though.

The unmanned devices will be used for multiple purposes in Memphis, said Scott Brockman, president of Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

"Apple is committed to protecting people's privacy, including processing this data to blur faces and license plates prior to publication", said the tech giant to Reuters as a response to queries around usage of drones for Apple Maps.

Startup Flirtey, which successfully made the first U.S. drone delivery in 2015, will use UAVs to deliver medical supplies for victims of cardiac arrests in Nevada and also track mosquitoes in Florida.

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"Zipline has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and made thousands of deliveries overseas", Zipline Chief Executive Keller Rinaudo said in a statement.

"While it's unfortunate the applications we were involved with were not selected, we support the administration's efforts to create a pilot program aimed at keeping America at the forefront of aviation and drone innovation", the company said in a statement.

Such modes are seen as essential for widescale commercial applications such as the package delivery systems that Amazon, Walmart and other retailers are working on.

"A lot can proceed under the FAA's current rules", in some cases with waivers from current regulatory constraints, she said.

The 10 winners will work with the FAA to update their operational concepts through Memorandums of Agreement, which will establish each parties' responsibilities and operations, and any data-sharing requirements.

Bradbury said there is no direct federal funding for the test program. And customers in Virginia could be awaiting Alphabet Inc.'s flying devices to get goods they ordered. It's worth noting that Amazon, which has been testing drone deliveries via Prime Air, was not included. He envisioned drones helping with oil field, flood and weather monitoring, and "finding missing persons".

"By creating a regulatory sandbox, the USA will bring jobs and innovation back from overseas", he said.

Elaine Chao, the Secretary for Transportation in the us, claimed that drone employment is increasing.

The IPP makes pilot projects easier, but it doesn't eliminate certification requirements.

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