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FAA Approves Fully Automated Commercial Drone Flights

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FAA Approves Fully Automated Commercial Drone Flights


WASHINGTON—A Massachusetts company has been granted approval to operate commercial drone flights without a person directing the machine and keeping it in sight. It’s the first time that the Federal Aviation Administration has allowed fully automated commercial drone flights. American Robotics Inc. touted the advantage of its machines as being able to operate continuously without “expensive human labor.” The Marlborough, Massachusetts, company said Friday it has tested fully automated drones for four years. CEO and co-founder Reese Mozer said there could be a $100 billion market in providing drone services to industries such as energy and agriculture, but that FAA safety requirements have restricted their use. The company said its Scout drones have technology to stay a safe distance from other aircraft. They are housed in base stations that allow for autonomous charging and to process and transmit the data they collect from aerial surveys. The FAA has allowed companies …

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