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Government Transportation United States Hardware

CNN Gets a First-Of-Its-Kind Waiver To Fly Drones Over Crowds (techcrunch.com) 60

The FAA has granted CNN a waiver that allows it to fly its Vantage Robotics Snap drone over open-air crowds of people at altitudes of up to 150 feet. "This is a new precedent in this kind of waiver: Previous exemptions allowed flight of drones over people in closed set operations (like for filmmaking purposes) and only when tethered, with a max height of 21 feet," reports TechCrunch. From the report: The new waiver granted to CNN, as secured through its legal counsel Hogan Lovells, allows for flight of the Vantage UAV (which is quite small and light) above crowds regardless of population density. It was a big win for the firm and the company because it represents a change in perspective on the issue for the FAA, which previously viewed all requests for exceptions from a "worst-case scenario" point of view. Now, however, the FAA has accepted CNN's "reasonableness Approach," which takes into account not just the potential results of a crashed drone, but also the safe operating history of the company doing the flying, their built-in safety procedures, and the features included on the drone model itself that are designed to mitigate the results of any negative issues.
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CNN Gets a First-Of-Its-Kind Waiver To Fly Drones Over Crowds

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  • by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @05:59PM (#55393115)
    Compared to a camera crane, it's pretty light-weight.
  • ... announced long ago by FAA.

    The drone industry has more money than tobacco and gun combined.

    They will be ubiquitous. CNN is the test case.

    They floodgate are open.

    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      Probably depends upon how you categorize the "drone industry". This group says it's only going to be about $12B in 2021. That's a drop in the bucket compared to tobacco (about $770B) or guns (about $51B). Now, if you're going to include things like Predator and Global Hawk UAVs, that's a different story, and IMO hardly comparable to "drones".

      http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

      • ... and IMO hardly comparable to "drones"

        Your opinion is not relevant when there are facts.

        The drone, of all sorts, types, configurations, for non-military use is an innovation that will have impact and sales far beyond 2021.

  • Meanwhile, in a different country, I've been doing this for the past 2 years (for a small company, not a big news org).

  • by OYAHHH ( 322809 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @06:53PM (#55393325) Homepage

    This has failed servo, failed ESC, failed battery, failed nut on prop, failed motor, failed transmitter, failed receiver , etc., etc. etc. =====>>>>>> LAWSUIT written all over it.

    • Modding you up...

    • by suutar ( 1860506 )

      sure, but the FAA now has enough documention that it should be safe to deflect a suit aimed at them. CNN may be on the hook if something goes wrong, but that's their problem - the FAA just has to tighten things back up after something breaks and they're golden.

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @06:57PM (#55393347) Homepage

    Not the typical drone design with shrouded blades and snaps apart (bits flying off reduce impact from bulk bits). The safety elements incorporated in this design is clearly the reason for acceptance, this really needs to be pointed out, vs idiots who take an drone with exposed blade amongst people.

    • If you think exposed blades are bad, imagine what it feels like to hit by a car that was legally travelling 40mph within 3' of you, as a cyclist/pedestrian.

      Getting hit by a 2lb plastic drone with spinning plastic propellers sucks. But let's try to keep risk assessment in perspective.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Let me just poke you in the eye with a pencil, what could the harm be, seriously just a pencil.

  • I don't want a bunch of fucking drones over my head.

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