Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Topeka's 1 of 10 cities selected for drone testing program

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich talks about the Yuneec Typhoon H drone Read time 4min 00sec Intel CEO Brian Krzanich talks about the Yuneec Typhoon H drone
Sherry Houston | 10 May, 2018, 14:32

The FAA still must decide questions before the pilot projects begin including whether drone deliveries should follow city streets or cross backyards.

A total of149 bids were drawn from locales looking to host flights at night, flights over people and other drone operations that are now prohibited under U.S. regulations.

Applicants had to describe how they proposed to use drones, and permission will be granted to just ten of the 200+ companies to apply. A rigorous process was cited in conjunction with Amazon's rejection, but deputy transportation secretary Jeff Rosen said there were "no losers". The winning projects reportedly focus on things like package delivery, agriculture, and flying drones near airports. Notably, Amazon.com Inc., a company that has both pushed for and worked on developing delivery drones, was not one of the recipients. The MOAs will establish the 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.

"This gives it the ability to move into any geography in the United States and move out of test mode into full operation", said Mark Siegel, a partner at Menlo Ventures, an investor in Flirtey.

Reuters reports that the program would exempt participating companies from four FAA regulations.

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. Virginia Tech said that it would explore emergency management, package delivery and infrastructure inspection by drone, partnering with Alphabet's Project Wing, AT&T, Intel, Airbus and Dominion Energy.

Nevada also submitted a statewide application that included dozens of partners from Nevada-grown companies and Fortune 50 corporations.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich holds up a new Yuneec Typhoon H drone.

The UAS Integration Pilot Program will help tackle the most significant challenges to integrating drones into the national airspace and will reduce risks to public safety and security.

"We need flying burgers", Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi joked at a conference. But drones are being tested by a broad range of companies for purposes ranging from package delivery to crop inspection. General Electric Co is also a partner, he said.

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