Sites selected for program aimed at expanding drone flights

Topeka's 1 of 10 cities selected for drone testing program

Interestingly enough, projects for the world's biggest non-military drone seller, DJI, and Amazon were rejected in the round that saw a total of 149 bids.

Handling local issues, such as whether your neighbor can get a package delivered by drone at midnight, would be a hard challenge for the Federal Aviation Administration, according to experts.

The unmanned devices will be used for multiple purposes in Memphis, said Scott Brockman, president of Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. They'll collect information related to night operations, detect-and-avoid technology and flights beyond the line of sight and over people.

Uber is working with San Diego, which wants to create drone landing stations and ports, according to a fact sheet released by DOT.

The city will work withFlirtey, one of the few drone companies that has carried out officially sanctioned unmanned drone tests in the United States, to test delivering medical equipment, such as defibrillators.

The state's transportation department, along, with Zipline, a medical drone-delivery startup that is now delivering 20% of the blood shipped across Rwanda (outside of its capital), will work to bring a similar delivery system to the state. Having partnerships with state and local governments means that there's a way to accommodate concerns like local restrictions on times for package delivery.

"There's a lot of excitement", said Lisa Ellman, a partner in the Washington office of law firm Hogan Lovells, who represents companies in the industry. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). "I look forward to continuing our work in Congress and with Secretary Chao to make great strides in safe and successful UAS implementation".

China's ZTE stops major operations following US export ban
Last month, the Department of Commerce officially instated the ban, alleging that ZTE had violated the terms of the sanction case. A ZTE employee has been quoted by Reuters as saying that staff have been reporting to work as normal but "with not much to do ".

The unmanned aircraft industry has pushed for relaxed restrictions, and the Trump administration has said current regulations have limited drone use, forcing companies to test overseas. Apple will apparently be a partner in North Carolina's program and thinking of using drones to seize aerial images to improve Apple Maps services. It also offers a way to show people the benefits of drones, like delivering a defibrillator right to someone having a heart attack, not just the risks.

The start by the US government a year ago which will allow for a larger scale of testing. The goal is that these pilot programs will inform future nationwide regulations on drone deployment.

The 10 winners will work with the FAA to update their operational concepts through Memorandums of Agreement, which will establish each parties' responsibilities and operations, and any data-sharing requirements.

The online retail giant also patented a delivery drone that responds to human voices and movements, including pointing, waving arms and screaming.

Earlier, the department confirmed it had sent two planned rules to the White House to regulate the increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles. After both are formally proposed, it would take months or possibly more than a year before they are finalized.

With assistance from Thomas Black.

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