The Office of Science and Technology has published it’s Exit Memo, including drone integration as one of 20 personal, local, and national frontiers that Americans must focus on going forward.
“Technology has become increasingly important to policy, to the delivery of government services, and to the Nation as a whole,” says the Memo. “…The mission of the Office of the U.S. CTO within OSTP is to advise the President and the President’s senior staff on how to harness the power of data, technology, and innovation on behalf of the American people…”
The memo highlight’s the impact that the outgoing president has had in “reaffirming and strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation,”and presents an outline of 20 frontiers that American tech companies will advance. The frontiers include 4 that affect Americans on a personal level, including medical and biotech advances; 4 on a local level, including the internet of things and the inclusion of citizen science; 4 on a national level, including AI and robotics; 4 on a global level, which include climate science and environmental advances; and 4 on an interplanetary level, including advances in space travel.
Specified in the national frontiers is the development of robotics and intelligent systems, including drones. The office claims credit for “providing technical input to the development of smart regulations governing the public and commercial use of such technologies,” and mentions drones directly as an area that must be expanded upon: “The Administration has also worked to improve regulatory frameworks for some applications, including the Federal Aviation Administration’s integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System and the Department of Transportation’s work on developing a Federal Automated Vehicles policy. Future work is needed to formulate a Federal strategy for UAS privacy authority and responsibilities.”
President Obama has been supportive of drone technology, sponsoring a White House informational event on drones and pledging his commitment to the industry. “On January 20, 2009, President Obama issued a simple and powerful pledge: to restore science to its rightful place,” says the Memo, pointing out that President Obama had said “that science, technology, and innovation are essential to sustaining economic growth, enabling Americans to lead longer and healthier lives, limiting the harm from climate change, and providing U.S. armed forces and homeland defenders with the tools they need to succeed in every contingency.”