The US government is gearing up for a future filled with drones.
No, not its army of underappreciated interns, but the kind of drones that take to the skies and could bring you groceries, letters, or a freshly purchased new Nexus as soon as next year.
The White House announced a commitment to promoting the commercial unmanned aircraft industry today, and most notable is the approval of the testing process for Google X's drone delivery service, called Project Wing.
Should the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) examination prove the unmanned mail service as reliable, the potential use for drones will greatly expand for both infrastructure and the private sector in the US, Bloomberg reports.
Droning on and on
Currently, the FAA has strict guidelines for safe drone handling, primarily keeping a constant line-of-sight on the aircraft at all times - a challenge when testing an autonomous mail courier, though Amazon worked with these restrictions last year while testing its own drone delivery system.
In addition to Project Wing, The Drone Racing League is also under consideration, and the government is putting together safety practices that will allow the high-speed, F-Zero-esque sport to expand to larger audiences and events.
Thirty-five million dollars was also set aside for the National Science Foundation to help "intelligently and effectively design, control, and apply [unmanned aircraft systems] to beneficial applications," ensuring that as the drone industry takes off, metaphorically and literally, the government won't be left behind.
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