Drones delivering lab samples to and from labs and take-out orders right to your door just got one step closer to reality.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced San Diego would be one of the 10 cities it chose to be part of an experimental program for commercial drone use called the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program. It was selected from a pool of 149 city and state applicants who wanted in on pioneering drone use in real-world environments, and their approval for the program means that the city will be able to get approvals and waivers more quickly for it and its 20-plus partners who are also involved with the testing.
Companies including AT&T, Qualcomm, GE, Uber and others will be participating with testing in sectors like public safety, package and food delivery, and international commerce and border security.
What went into the application for this program? What are some of the specifics of how the partner companies will be working with the cities to test commercial drone delivery? What are some of the legal questions that may arise?
Jesse Gipe, senior economic development manager for the San Diego Economic Development Corporation, which partnered with the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista in their joint application to participate in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program
Sezen Jones, attorney and director of public policy at AirMap, a company that develops airspace management programs for drones and one of San Diego’s partner companies participating in the drone testing program