"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Technology Driving Innovation: A New Age of Flying Robots: UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Drone Law & Industry Info

We live in a complex era marked by the emergence of flying robots called drones, which in the USA and Europe, for example, have already led to pioneer regulatory legislation. See e.g. GleissLutz, Public Law: The German Government's Action Plan on Drone Regulation.

Drones are a rapidly developing industry and also a relatively new legal field.

"UA" means "Unmanned Vehicle", a UAV is an "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle" while a UAS is an "Unmanned Aerial System", such terms having a U.S. military reconnaissance origin, and still being used in the drafting of legislation applicable to "drones".

Especially as regards commercial products, UAV's are commonly called DRONES, a term applied increasingly to recreational-like "multicopters".

Additional terminology for drones can also be found, e.g. RPAS "Remotely Piloted Aircraft System", or MAV "Micro Air Vehicle". See Altigator

Essentially, drones are "flying robots". See Nesta.

Drones are being increasingly regulated by governments because of the growing recreational and commercial use of drones and drone technology, which use raises security issues. Moreover, the drone industry is moving toward becoming a powerful economic force and thus subject to more government regulation.

See a Master List of Drone Laws at UAVCoach.com by country or US state.

See Drone Industry Insights at Droneii.com.

The Wikipedia entry for Unmanned aerial vehicle currently states inter alia that:

"An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) (or uncrewed aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone) is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS); which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously by onboard computers referred to as an autopilot.

Compared to crewed aircraft, UAVs were originally used for missions too "dull, dirty or dangerous" for humans. While drones originated mostly in military applications, their use is rapidly finding many more applications including aerial photography, product deliveries, agriculture, policing and surveillance, infrastructure inspections, science, smuggling, and drone racing.
The drone industry is still young and growing, but it will likely become one of the world's major economic forces in the not so far future. See GoldmanSachs.com at "Technology Driving Innovation" in Drones: Reporting for Work.
It is an industry that began just a few years ago with the first generations of drones serving as recreational playthings and as aerial surveying tools.
Such uses will of course continue, while drone technology will gradually also greatly impact agriculture, health and medicine, and the global transportation of goods and services via "cargo drones" viz. "delivery drones". 
"Taxi drones" for human travel are also in the works.

We imagine that "personal flying vehicles" are also in the offing.

See The Conversation.