The FAA just greenlit this drone to fly autonomously without a human nearby


In October, the FAA took a major stride towards letting increasingly smart drones fly themselves, letting Skydio’s self-flying drones inspect any bridge in North Carolina for four years, as long as humans first verified those bridges were clear.

Now, the US airspace regulator is taking an even bigger step: American Robotics says it’s become the first company allowed to operate drones without needing a human pilot or an observer anywhere near the aircraft.

It’s not quite as big a deal as you’d expect from the company’s press release or The Wall Street Journal’s headline “FAA Approves First Fully Automated Commercial Drone Flights,” because humans still need to be part of the equation: FAA documents show that American Robotics will still…

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