The FAA is seeking to allow drones to fly over people and to remotely identify and track unmanned aerial vehicles while they are in flight, with two new regulations awaiting formal proposal and approval by the Trump administration - a process that could take months. Drones will be operated beyond visual line of sight of operators, and pilots will be alerted to the presence of drones.
FedEx spokeswoman Maury Donahue said, "FedEx continues to be a leader in transportation technology that improves safety and efficiency for our team members, operations and customers".
In Reno, drones will deliver defibrillators in partnership with the local 911 system.
But Amazon, which wants to offer drone parcel deliveries, has not been chosen.
Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the city was selected to participate in its experimental commercial drone program, called the "Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program".
The 10 pilot winners include the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, in Durant, Oklahoma; the City of San Diego, California; the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, in Herndon, Virginia; the Kansas Department of Transportation; the Lee County Mosquito Control District in Fort Meyers, Florida; the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority; the North Carolina Department of Transportation; the North Dakota Department of Transportation; the City of Reno, Nevada; and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
The US drone program has been created to assess how drones can be regulated and worked into US airspace without borking normal aviation; Amazon offered to help but didn't get the nod, which is kind of ironic given it probably flogs more drones than any other tech firm out there.
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Handling local issues, such as whether your neighbor can get a package delivered by drone at midnight, would be a hard challenge for the Federal Aviation Administration, according to experts.
According to Reuters, Amazon applied to deliver goods by drone to shoppers in NY but was rejected. "I think so. It will work, and it will happen, and it's gonna be a lot of fun".
While Apple got permission for its drone testing ambitions, other tech firms weren't so lucky. But drones are being tested by a broad range of companies for purposes ranging from package delivery to crop inspection.
"A large number of the projects and activities proposed by applicants could go forward under the FAA's existing rules, including with waivers where appropriate", Lawrence said.
There isn't any drone delivery in the USA yet, but Alphabet has been testing delivering packages to people's backyards in Australia. China's DJI said it submitted about a dozen applications.
Numerous programs include plans to fly on longer-range operations outside of the view of a drone's ground operator.
The agency has said it hopes the proposed rules, laying out safety provisions when drones are flying above people and a requirement for them to transmit their identification, would be issued this year.