As of late, it appears United States regulations are softening to the idea of the use of drones for commercial purposes. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has been historically stringent on drone activity, plans to begin researching drone flights that travel out of the field of vision of the operator; these are known as beyond-sight flights. The drone industry sees these flights as critical to the advancement of potential commercial uses for drones. Concurrently, the most recent FAA rules proposal is also less strict on drone control than expected.
Two of the largest companies that are developing methods of utilizing drones in their business are Google and Amazon. Both of these companies are cultivating ways to use beyond-sight flights for package deliveries. The concern with this method of delivery for the FAA is drones will be flying in busy airspace, requiring a great deal of control in order to make the airspace safe for manned flights as well as drones. Google and Amazon both hope to eventually have drones that can sense and avoid obstacles independently without human intervention. With other companies in the process of developing technology to allow this desire to become a reality and the FAA’s newfound tolerance of drone activity, Google and Amazon could stand to benefit greatly with continued development of drone-operated delivery.