The U.S Department of Transportation reported that 10 cities have been selected for drone testing. This is part of a program that is expected to encourage the use of drones in the United States and bring about better rules and regulations. The cities selected include San Diego, California – Bismark, North Dakota – Reno, Nevada – Raleigh, North Carolina – Fairbanks, Alaska – Memphis, Tennessee – Fort Myers, Florida – Topeka, Kansas – Durant, Oklahoma and Herndon, Virginia.
Drones will be tested at night and outside the line of sight of their operators for scenarios such as food and medicine delivery, infrastructure inspections, and surveillance. In Florida’s Fort Myers, drones will be used to survey the mosquito population. In Reno, it will be used to deliver defibrillators to emergency workers.
Secretary of the U.S Department of Transportation, Elaine Chao noted that drones are now a part of our every day lives. She explained that drones are necessary to ensure that Americans can harness all the benefits that the technology has to offer including saving lives, creating more jobs, streamlining business operations and making the country more competitive on an international level.
The results of the drone tests will assist authorities in making new rules and regulations that will make it easier for drones to be integrated into the United States airspace. It is believed that drones will boost the economy by up to $82 billion and create over a hundred thousand jobs for Americans. The possible applications that drones can be used for are unlimited but the current regulations have stagnated some of the growth. Many industry experts are hopeful that with this new project, the FAA will be able to lift some restrictions thereby increasing the use of drones throughout the country.
There has been various incidents involving drones where people in many cities fear for their privacy and safety. With the new FAA regulations on the horizon, many industry insiders are hoping that these new tests will resolve the the fears and questions that the public have in regards to drone use. The approval of this project by the Trump administration is a historic one and shows that the government has changed its way of thinking regarding drone technology.
The commercialization of drones in countries such as China are far ahead of the US in terms of development and applications due to restrictions implemented by the FAA. With these new tests, many are hopeful that things will start to charge for the better which will increase drone usage throughout the country.