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FAA Approves First Commercial Fully Autonomous Drone

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rbarnes

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The Wall Street Journal reports of the new approval:
"...in its action Thursday, the FAA granted American Robotics Inc., based in Marlborough, Mass., permission to fly in U.S. airspace without anyone controlling or monitoring it on site, according to Lisa Ellman, a lawyer in the Washington, D.C., office of Hogan Lovells, who represents the company and also is executive director of the Commercial Drone Alliance, an industry trade group."
In particular its Scout drones will "operate under predetermined flight programs and use acoustic technology to detect and avoid drones, birds and other obstacles," according to the WSJ report.

The news also comes as the FAA this week is implementing new aviation rules which are expected to allow for eventual broad expansion of drone deliveries by companies like Amazon. However, authorities have remained cautiously slow given the immense safety concerns both to traditional aviation and air travel, as well as to bystanders on the ground, and the fact that commercial drone delivery traffic is likely to be most active over dense residential areas.
 
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