By mapping the skies, AirMap app paves the way to a drone-filled future


The problem with being a safety-conscious, responsible drone operator is that it’s much easier to actually fly the drone than it is to comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules. If we’re ever going to have instant Amazon Prime Air deliveries, Domino’s Pizza drones, and other flying robot helpers, complying with those rules needs to get easier—it also needs to get automated.

At the recent Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Xponential conference in New Orleans, Amazon Prime Air Vice President Gur Kimchi outlined Amazon’s vision for how that might look. Kimchi and Amazon propose an approach that uses “federated” traffic control—the sharing of information between air traffic control systems, operators, and drones themselves to enable a safer yet more crowded sky. The groundwork for such a system is already being laid—in part thanks to software developed by a Santa Monica, California, company called AirMap.

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