Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

U.S. drone programme taps Alphabet, passes over Amazon, China's DJI

U.S. drone programme taps Alphabet, passes over Amazon, China's DJI

As part of the program, the winners will be allowed to carry out more extensive testing which is now barred by aviation regulators.

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said that dozens of the unapproved projects could receive approval in the coming months subject to certain waivers or compliance to existing rules. Major US companies are said to be among the winners, due to be announced later today. Apple itself adds on to this, saying that it will use drone tests in North Carolina to improve Apple Maps with aerial images.

Flirtey previously partnered with emergency medical services provider Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority to launch the first drone delivery service for automated external defibrillators in the U.S. Now, the vision is to deliver packages using drones with its customers, which include FedEx, 7-Eleven and Domino's Pizza Inc., ultimately bringing drone delivery to homes across America.

Others including startup Flirtey, which successfully made the first drone delivery in the United States in 2015 test, will be using UAVs to deliver medical supplies to heart attack victims in Nevada, track mosquitoes in Florida and develop other new uses.

With the government now opening up applications for the new program, Apple has joined other tech giants including Amazon, Intel and Qualcomm in applying.

Asked why the Transportation Department had not selected Amazon or DJI, Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeff Rosen told Reuters that the projects had gone through a rigorous review process. The company has worked with the FAA on policy before, and has tested its drone technology around the world, including the UK.

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PH also won five of the 12 state legislatures, even breaking into BN traditional fortress such as the states of Johor and Kedah. Before his firing in 1998, Anwar was the country's deputy prime minister under Najib's predecessor Mahathir Mohamad.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is expanding its drone testing program, giving permission to 10 state, local and tribal governments to take part in a new pilot program that will test drones primarily as delivery vehicles.

A total of149 bids were drawn from locales looking to host flights at night, flights over people and other drone operations that are now prohibited under USA regulations.

Flying taxis are the most high profile of the current drone development projects, with Google co-founder Larry Page's Kitty Hawk unveiling its designs in March and Uber holding a conference for its Elevate programme this week.

Amazon, which hopes to one day deliver packages with a fleet of drones, said it was unfortunate its applications were not selected but supports the USA efforts.

Although it's possible to walk into just about any electronics store now and purchase a drone for a relatively small amount of money, the middle ground - that is, using drones for commercial delivery versus making YouTube videos or bombing people in the Middle East - has been a longstanding challenge.

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