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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Jun 12th, 2018)

A new study claims that the FAA is stifling the spread of commercial drones by treating them as they would aircraft. The FAA-sponsored study was mandated by Congress and conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In the report, the academies argues that federal safety regulators should better balance the benefits of drones, such as their potential to save lives, with their drawbacks. The cadre of science advisers said that regulators frequently enforce safety rules that it considers unnecessarily stringent. The FAA says that it will continue to work on integrating drones into U.S. airspace. - WSJ

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A drone has helped decrease crime by 10 percent in Ensenada, Mexico, according to the local police department. The city's authorities claim that the single DJI Inspire 1 drone has led to more than 500 arrests and a 30 percent drop in home robberies. “It’s helped with reducing response times and also catching people when they do something illegal,” Jesus Ramos Avendaño, chief technology officer of the department, said. Over four months, police conducted more than 1,600 drone missions, which amounts to about 25 missions a day. Software from the California-based company Cape helped pilot the UAV. - THE DRIVE

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An Ohio power provider is using drones to protect birds' nests. Akron-based FirstEnergy has deployed drones to inspect the nests of osprey and eagles, which sometimes build them on utility poles near dangerous equipment. Nests with eggs or chicks are left undisturbed. But if a nest is found empty, it is removed and special equipment is installed at the site to prevent future birds from nesting there. Before the use of drones, the company would conduct the inspections manually, which could upset the animals. FirstEnergy Environmental Scientist Amy Ruszala said that she is "confident other utility companies will use our positive feedback and follow suit." - CLEVELAND.COM

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Drones will monitor traffic along a stretch of highway in central Ohio. The three-year, $5.9 million project aims to provide transportation officials with new data about traffic efficiency and safety, as well as information about preventing drone crashes in the sky. DriveOhio will monitor the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, which extends between Dublin and East Liberty. The project will start next month and last about a year. - COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST

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