The United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has awarded the first-ever “commercial” and fully autonomous drone operations approval to American Robotics. The Boston-based company isn’t into the mass manufacture of drone fleets or the logistics and delivery sector. However, the approval directly impacts US-based companies looking for commercial drone fleet license.
The US FAA has granted its first-ever approval to a company (not an individual) for use of automated drones without human operators on site. The approval comes right after the agency, essentially in charge of the America open skies, indicated it is revising key policies surrounding drone fleet operations.
Boston-based American Robotics receives FAA approval for fully automated drone operations:
According to the company’s website, American Robotics is an industrial drone developer specializing in autonomy for rugged, real-world environments. Simply put, the company specializes in full automated drones that are built for the outdoors and industrial tasks.
The company’s ‘Scout System’ technology features “acoustic Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) technology that enables its drones to maintain a safe distance from other aircraft at all times.”
— ASSUREuas (@ASSUREuas) January 20, 2021
“By developing a layered, redundant system of safety that includes proprietary technical and operational risk mitigations, American Robotics has proven that its drone-based aerial intelligence platform operates safely in the National Airspace System (NAS), even when it conducts flights Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) of the operator.”
Speaking about the FAA approval for fully-autonomous drone fleet operations, Reese Mozer, CEO, and co-founder of American Robotics said, “Decades worth of promise and projection are finally coming to fruition. We are proud to be the first company to meet the FAA’s comprehensive safety requirements, which had previously restricted the viability of drone use in the commercial sector.”
What does the FAA approval mean for companies looking to deploy automated drone fleet deliveries?
FAA has recently warmed up extensively to the idea of drone fleet operations. Previously, the authority was extremely strict about flying drones.
The agency essentially restricted drone flying to a “hobby”. The FAA basically prevented drones from flying at night or over people who are not operating the drones. However, under the revised rules, drone operators will be able to fly drones over people, and even at night.
— Drone News Feed (@DroneNewsFeed) January 19, 2021
The new FAA regulations for drone operations clearly suggest the United States is welcoming deliveries by drone fleets. And with the first approval, FAA has officially set the ball rolling.
Incidentally, many companies specializing in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have worked with the FAA to set safety parameters. More importantly, several have repeatedly demonstrated the reliability and working state of drone technology.
— Boris Janek (@electrouncle) January 20, 2021
The FAA approval for American Robotics has arrived after a four-year testing program around its Scout line of UAV products. During the most recent tests before the formal approval, the company conducted up to ten automated missions per day.
With the first approval through the gates, enterprise drone firms will undoubtedly rush to the FAA. In other words, the US FAA has essentially opened the floodgate to drone fleet deliveries.