Drone makes first successful demonstration delivery in US

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A fully autonomous drone has successfully completed the first urban delivery in the United States, its operator Flirtey announced.

According to Popular Science, the drone brought bottled water, emergency food, and a first aid kit to an uninhabited house in Hawthorne, a small town in western Nevada, on Friday, March 25. The magazine explained that it was a demonstration delivery.

Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeney told Popular Science that in the future, the company plans to “do it [drone delivery] over an urban populated area, the kind of environment that people live in on a daily basis.”

Flirtey is the world?s first autonomous aerial delivery company, according to its website. It has already conducted a successful rural drone delivery test.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a Thursday report that the number of commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, will increase four times over the next four years, reaching 2.7 million.

Preliminary data documents 582 drone sighting reports compiled by the FAA between August 22, 2015 and January 31, 2016. In comparison, the agency received only 765 reports between November 11, 2014 and August 20, 2015, for an average of 81 reports per month.

Drones pose a serious risk to private and commercial air traffic. A comprehensive study released last year by the Center for the Study of the Drone found 241 incidents of near collisions with manned aircraft, including more than 90 commercial airliners, from December 2013 to September 2015. — PNA

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