Apple to participate in pilot program allowing expanded operation of drones

Apple to participate in pilot program allowing expanded operation of drones

Apple to participate in pilot program allowing expanded operation of drones

The wide interest in the US initiative, launched by President Donald Trump past year, 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 purposes ranging from package delivery to crop inspection. 200 companies are said to be competing to be member of the program.

"Our country is on the verge of the most significant new development in aviation since the emergence of the jet age", Chao said at a press conference.

Across all tests, a key focus for the federal government is to find a way to integrate drone traffic into existing air traffic while the aircraft operate beyond the visual line-of-sight of a human pilot.

The other participants chosen were in Alaska, Florida, Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia. The company has worked with the FAA on policy as it tested drone technology around the world.

At Memphis International Airport, drones may soon be inspecting planes and delivering airplane parts for FedEx Corp. In Reno, drones will carry defibrillators to heart attack victims.

According to Reuters, Amazon applied to deliver goods by drone to shoppers in NY but was rejected.

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. Integrating unmanned aircraft into USA airspace could lead to a potential economic benefit of $82 billion, as well as the creation of 100,000 jobs in the next decade, according to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

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Next, participants will refine their concepts through "memorandums of agreement" that "establish parties' responsibilities, describe specific concepts of operations they will undertake, establish any data-sharing requirements, and specify that no federal funds will be spent on the program", according to DoT. The data collected will help the USDOT and the FAA craft new regulations. The use cases will include infrastructure inspection, public safety, and medical deliveries.

Other companies involved include Intel, Qualcomm, and a number of drone companies like Fortem and Flirtey.

Other trial programs, as outlined in the city's proposal, will incorporate drones to improve border surveillance, as well as speed up hospital blood tests, with the latter application relying on drones instead of couriers to deliver samples to and from labs.

Drones that monitor crops, control mosquito populations and deliver defibrillators are to be tested in United States airspace. About a dozen applications that included DJI were rejected.

The USDOT announced 10 test projects that will allow companies including Alphabet, FedEx, and Uber to test the unmanned aircrafts across the country.

According to Reuters, the head of the FAA's unmanned aircraft systems integration office told a Senate panel this week that numerous projects that were not awardees "could go forward under the FAA's existing rules, including with waivers where appropriate", with the agency reaching out to those local authorities "to provide additional information on how to operationalize their proposed projects".

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