Apple and Uber among big name brands approved for FAA drone pilot programme

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Apple, Uber and Microsoft are among the companies set to experiment with drone delivery after the launch of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial drone pilot programme across the US.

Earlier this month the FAA approved a three-year pilot scheme to be trialled in 10 US states in a bid to explore the future of drone delivery with help from private companies such as tech giant Apple and transport leader Uber.

The programme is being pioneered by Zipline, a medical drone delivery startup headquarted in San Francisco that has been waiting to bring its model to the US.

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Currently the company operates a nationwide emergency bloody delivery service in Rwanda, but hopes the new scheme will help jumpstart the commercial drone industry in the US.

Alphabet, Apple, Airbus, FedEx, Intel, Microsoft, Uber, and Qualcomm are among those chosen to take part in the new programme, along with smaller companies like Zipline, Flirtey, and PrecisionHawk.

Amazon, which has multiple patents for drone delivery, was not approved to participate in the programme, Reuters reports.

China-based DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, also did not make the cut.

The 10 states will now test different commercial drone applications to assess how the federal government should regulate nationwide commercial use.

The 10 selectees include the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, San Diego, Virginia, Kansas, Florida, Tennessee, North Dakota, Nevada, and Alaska.

Tags : APPLEDJIdrone industryUber
Zoe Monk

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