US regulator approves first-ever fully autonomous commercial drone flights

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the first-ever fully-automated commercial drone flights. The US aviation regulator has permitted American Robotics to fly its Scout quadcopter beyond the line-of-sight of human operators. In approval documents recently posted on the FAA website,  the agency said the exemption only applies to rural areas, daylight visibility, and altitudes below 400 feet. The drones must also have a maximum takeoff weight of 20 pounds and operate solely for the purposes of research and development, crew training, and market surveys. [Read: How Netflix shapes mainstream culture, explained by data] American Robotics must also designate a remote pilot in command for each flight who “has…

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