Amazon Left Out Of Government Drone Test Program

11 May, 2018, 10:04 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Amazon Left Out Of Government Drone Test Program

After combing through 149 applications from state, local and tribal governments seeking to partner with some of the world's leading technology companies, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the winners Wednesday. And in Fort Myers, Florida, they'll be used to monitor the mosquito population. The N.C. Department of Transportation said plans to work with drone delivery companies Matternet and Zipline to use drones to deliver medical supplies across state lines.

The company is taking part in a U.S. government pilot program where FAA restrictions on drone use have been loosened to promote business innovation in fields like parcel delivery and the delivery of emergency supplies.

The application of the Memphis airport was also approved, which "focuses on the inspection of FedEx aircraft and autonomous operations that support airport operations such as perimeter security surveillance and package delivery". Memphis International is the hub for operations by FedEx, which is a partner in the program. To get there, airport president and CEO Scott Bockman said his team lined up a diverse group of partners for this "tremendous opportunity".

FedEx will use drones to inspect aircraft, track assets, facility security and emergency response.

The DOT's economic projections for the drone industry are high: "In less than a decade, the potential economic benefit of integrating [unmanned aircraft systems] in the nation's airspace is estimated at $82 billion and could create 100,000 jobs" by 2025.

Uber will work with San Diego to create drone landing stations and ports. "I think so. It will work, and it will happen, and it's gonna be a lot of fun".

Apple to use drone services for bettering its Apple maps services.

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Sanford noted North Dakota was designated as one of the country's six test sites for researching drone airspace integration just a few years ago.

Ten applicants have been selected by the federal government to test a new generation of drone uses that go beyond what is legally permissible today. No federal funds will be spent on the program.

Different agencies will test different drone 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 U.S. had been lagging for the past few years.

Some reports have also said that 10 government companies are going to conduct the flight testing.

The contest drew 149 bids from locales looking to host flights at night, flights over people and other drone operations that USA rules prohibit. While FAA gradually has begun approving waivers allowing night flights and other expanded operations, the industry wants to operate longer range flights for agriculture, inspections and deliveries.

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. So-called beyond-visible-line-of-sight flights offer some of the greatest potential for commercial operations, but they also are among the most hard technically to ensure they don't strike other aircraft or veer off course.

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