We all know of California being the hub of new technology and innovation. Silicon Valley has time and again graced us with new inventions that have made life much easier. However, as far as the common usage of drones is concerned, that’s a matter that will have to wait. California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein has put forward a bill that may halt the drone manufacturing process in its tracks.
Upon being pressuring by Feinstein, the FAA released some data that indicated 190 incidents occurred during a 9 month period where unauthorized drones were spotted by people from the general aviation community. These drones were not supposed to be flying in certain places and as many as 12 of these drones almost faced a mid-air collision. So in response to these incidents, Feinstein introduced the Consumer Drone Safety Act. This places the burden on drone manufacturers to incorporate strict federal safety laws in regards to consumer drones.
Several advocates of the drone industry argue the seriousness of the data provided by the FAA. However, what they’re more worried about is the implementation of excessive and overly stringent guidelines on the industry, which would quash any innovation. According to the head of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, Brenda Schulman, there is strong potential for these regulations to turn into a draconian set of limits that inhibit growth.
The new regulations set forth by authorities would require drones to have a wide range of technologies such as collision-avoidance features, geo-fencing capability, a GPS that gives the aircraft’s location, and an anti-tampering feature that will prevent users from changing the way the drone works. This will mean higher costs of manufacturing and a higher price tag at the store when consumers go to purchase a drone.
Large companies such as Google and Amazon that have a vested interest in this technology are working their hardest to lobby against such restrictions and regulations so that drones can be used in a free yet safe manner to provide consumers unparalleled convenience.