UAV roundup August 2016: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Aug. 24, 2016
In this edition of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) roundup, we touch on a number of different drone-related topics, including the FAA extension, Amazon and Google-related UAV news, Facebook’s first drone launch, the latest from DJI, and more. 

In this edition of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) roundup, we touch on a number of different drone-related topics, including the FAA extension, Amazon and Google-related UAV news, Facebook’s first drone launch, the latest from DJI, and more.

President Obama signs FAA extension

This past July, President Barack Obama signed a bill passed by Congress to extend authorization for Federal Aviation Administration programs and funding until September 30, 2017.

In addition to extending FAA authorization, the measure includes provisions that impact operations of unmanned aircraft systems, as it directs the FAA to create a comprehensive UAS research and development road, which the AUVSI has advocated to coordinate industry and government research and development programs. Additionally, according to AUVSI, in outlines a pilot program for unmanned traffic management and expands the Section 333 exemption process to allow for beyond-line-of-sight operations.

"This FAA extension will provide short-term stability for the commercial UAS industry," said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. "Its provisions will help expand commercial operations, advance research and keep the airspace safe for all users – manned and unmanned."

AUVSI holds 2016 Startup Connection

On July 18, the AUVSI hosted its first Startup Connection, which was held in San Francisco and focused on highlighting innovations in unmanned systems and robotics. The event brought together investors, channel partners, and OEMs with startups, new ideas, and new technologies in an interactive format combining demonstrations and presentations.

Read some quotes from the event.

Amazon and UK government to explore drone delivery safety

A partnership between Amazon and the UK government is set to explore the steps needed to make the Amazon Prime delivery drone become operational a reality by enabling Amazon to trial new methods of testing its delivery systems.

Read on.

Amazon invests birdhouse-style drone stations

Additionally, Amazon has received a patent for docking stations for streetlight posts, cellphone towers, and buildings so that delivery drones can recharge and download information about impending weather, according to Silicon Beat, the tech blog of The Mercury News.

These stations are intended to allow for package delivery at a point in time when UAVs generally lack the ability to travel long distances when carrying heavy goods.

"The range provided by current UAV technology . . . makes deliveries over a wide area – e.g. throughout a city, or even a portion of a city – difficult," Amazon’s patent documents said.

Read on.

Google also testing delivery drones

Looking to keep pace with Amazon, Google has announced that it has received permission to begin testing delivery drones in the United States.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, received permission from the FAA to test drones weighing less than 25kg in designated areas as part of the company’s Project Wing. The announcement, according to The Telegraph, came alongside a number of measures intended to encourage the drone industry introduced by the White House

Read on.

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About the Author

James Carroll

Since joining the team 2013, James covered machine vision and imaging from numerous angles, including application stories, industry news, market updates, and new products. In addition to writing and editing articles for each issue of the magazine, James managed the Innovators Awards program and webcasts.


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