USA gov gives Apple permission to use drones for Apple Maps

Louisville's application to the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the city to fly automated police drones to gunshot sites was not among the agency's 10 pilot project awardees announced this week. They'll collect information related to night operations, detect-and-avoid technology and flights beyond the line of sight and over people. Several incidents around major airports have involved drones getting close to aircraft.

"Data gathered from these pilot projects will form the basis of a new regulatory framework to safely integrate drones into our national airspace", said United States secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao.

The helicopter landed safely but a 1-1/2 inch (3.8 cm) dent was found on the leading edge of one of its four main rotor blades and parts of the drone were found lodged in its engine oil cooler fan. According to some reports, U.S. Department of Transportation will declare 10 winning state or local government bodies for insertion in the program today. As for the big names, FedEx is working with Intel and the Memphis airport to use drones for the delivery of aircraft parts and to perform safety inspections, and Alphabet's Project Wing drones will take flight in Virginia to test drone deliveries to consumers.

Those locations are paired with private companies for drone testing.

Uber will take on food delivery in San Diego's project, which also will include border protection, worldwide commerce and autonomous vehicles, according to Department of Transportation officials.

The Native American tribe will test using drones to inspect crops, livestock herds, and infrastructure.

The company says, however, that its stance on privacy will remain the same throughout its use of drones. The company believes the tests are an important step for helping the industry overcome public unease about privacy and nuisance issues raised by the growth of small drones, said William Goodwin, AirMap's general counsel.

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In February, Louisville was named one of the 35 finalists in the Bloomberg Philanthropies' 2018 Mayors Challenge - recognizing novel ideas to tackle tough problems - thanks to its automated drone proposal.

"You've highlighted our key struggle and why we are asking for remote ID and working so hard on that - because we can't follow up and find out whether they're just clueless or criminal", Lawrence responded.

The Integration Pilot Program, as it's called, has created palpable enthusiasm in the drone world, from startups including Flirtey Inc. and AirMap Inc.to established companies developing unmanned devices like Amazon.com Inc., which wants to deliver packages to people's homes.

Chinese drone manufacturer DJI, which dominates the US market, was not among the selectees, the company said.

"The enthusiastic response to our request for applications demonstrated the many innovative technological and operational solutions already on the horizon", the secretary added.

Others including startup Flirtey, which successfully made the first drone delivery in the U.S. in 2015 test, will be using UAVs to deliver medical supplies to heart attack victims in Nevada, track mosquitoes in Florida and develop other new uses.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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