Alphabet Unit Tests New System to Identify Airborne Drones

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Under the concept, operators, government agencies and individual citizens would have access to the data. The recent test results are expected to provide momentum for proposed package delivery to consumers and many other drone uses currently stalled by regulatory hurdles. U.S. air-safety and law-enforcement officials have balked at approving extensive commercial drone operations without reliable identification techniques. In addition to Wing, which is slated to demonstrate fledgling-package delivery procedures in Virginia this year, the flights included drone-service companies AirMap Inc. and Kittyhawk. With three of the burgeoning industry's leading companies backing the approach and promising to step up testing, proponents hope to persuade the Federal Aviation Administration to loosen flight restrictions before completion of full-fledged rule making expected to take years.


NASA is taking the first steps toward managing drone traffic

Los Angeles Times

Drone Co-habitation Services operates a Phantom 3 commercial drone, one of 11 vehicles in the NASA field demonstration in Nevada. Drone Co-habitation Services operates a Phantom 3 commercial drone, one of 11 vehicles in the NASA field demonstration in Nevada. By 2020, an estimated 7 million drones could be zipping around the country delivering packages, taking photos, inspecting infrastructure or conducting search and rescue missions. But before that happens, they'll need a system in place to avoid crashing into each other -- or worse, passenger aircraft. NASA, along with the Federal Aviation Administration and an extensive list of industry partners, has been researching the requirements needed to establish a drone traffic management system.


FAA drone testing program takes off in 10 cities

ZDNet

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is moving forward with its plans to accelerate drone testing in the US -- with help from technology companies including Alphabet, FedEx and Intel. The agency announced 10 states that will participate in the the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program, an effort that aims to study the potential uses of drones in agriculture, commerce, emergency management, and human transportation. The 10 pilot winners include the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, in Durant, Oklahoma; the City of San Diego, California; the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, in Herndon, Virginia; the Kansas Department of Transportation; the Lee County Mosquito Control District in Fort Meyers, Florida; the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority; the North Carolina Department of Transportation; the North Dakota Department of Transportation; the City of Reno, Nevada; and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. First announced last October, the UAS program aims to partner the FAA with local, state and tribal governments, along with private sector technology companies, to explore the integration of drone operations across industries. The program will also address public safety and security risks that go along with bringing drones into the national airspace.


WAZE for drones: expanding the national airspace

Robohub

Sitting in New York City, looking up at the clear June skies, I wonder if I am staring at an endangered phenomena. According to many in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry, skylines across the country soon will be filled with flying cars, quadcopter deliveries, emergency drones, and other robo-flyers. Moving one step closer to this mechanically-induced hazy future, General Electric (GE) announced last week the launch of AiRXOS, a "next generation unmanned traffic" management system. Managing the National Airspace is already a political football with the Trump Administration proposing privatizing the air-control division of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), taking its controller workforce of 15,000 off the government's books. The White House argues that this would enable the FAA to modernize and adopt "NextGen" technologies to speed commercial air travel.


Commercial drones are here: The future of unmanned aerial systems

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Investment in unmanned aerial systems is soaring, but challenges remain. Here's what stakeholders need to know about the evolving landscape.