Report calls for drone crash-test dummies

Image: Drone overhead
Photographer Chase Jarvis with a drone at Gas Works Park in Seattle.

Drones should face the equivalent of crash-test dummies to gauge how safe they are for flying around people, a panel appointed by the Federal Aviation Administration said in a report released today.

The recommendations from the Micro UAS Aviation Rulemaking Committee laid out a wide range of conditions for letting drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems, fly close to the uninvolved public. Such flights are not allowed under a different set of regulations that are due for release within the next few months.

The committee, which includes industry representatives and other stakeholders, finished its report in less than a month. “We commend the committee members for their sincere dedication and for producing a comprehensive report in such a short time,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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