FAA Panel Fails to Reach Consensus on Drone Regulations

A federal advisory panel of 70+ industry, labor and law enforcement experts failed to come to agreement on a proposal on how to track and identify drones. More specifically, the panel could not find agreement regarding categories of drones that should require remote monitoring. The result is that it will now be more difficult for the Federal Aviation Administration to execute rules that would please all concerned groups, which include law enforcement agencies, hobbyists and drone advocates. Continue reading FAA Panel Fails to Reach Consensus on Drone Regulations

Amazon Unveils Plans to Build New Air Cargo Hub in Kentucky

Amazon is taking the next step in expanding the transportation and delivery side of its e-commerce business, and lessening its reliance on carriers such as FedEx and UPS. The Seattle-based company announced yesterday it plans to build an air cargo hub for its growing fleet of aircraft. The facility, expected to create more than 2,000 jobs, will be located in Hebron, Kentucky at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. According to insiders, Amazon aims to transport and deliver its own packages and eventually branch out to other retailers while competing with traditional carriers. Continue reading Amazon Unveils Plans to Build New Air Cargo Hub in Kentucky

Facebook in Talks with Foreign Nations to Begin Drone Trials

Several tech companies want to provide Internet access to developing nations via drones, satellites and balloons, but they all face obstacles, including getting approval to operate in foreign airspace and use radio spectrum to broadcast signals to the ground. Google already conducted its first tests of Project Loon, using high-altitude balloons, and OneWeb is at work on multiple satellites to deliver the Internet from space. Now Facebook is talking to several countries to create trial Internet broadcasts from drones. Continue reading Facebook in Talks with Foreign Nations to Begin Drone Trials

Battery Material Could Hold Charge for Years, Even Decades

Researchers from the University of California at Irvine have found a new battery material that could possibly hold a charge for decades. While studying fragile nanowires, a PhD candidate on the research team decided on a whim “to switch the liquid electrolyte surrounding the nanowire assembly with a gel version,” reports Smithsonian. To the team’s surprise, the gel capacitor initially ran for 30,000 cycles and kept going for a month. Although still experimenting, the team believes the thick gel reduces the nanowire’s fragility, a solution that could prove revolutionary for commercial batteries. Continue reading Battery Material Could Hold Charge for Years, Even Decades

Drone Makers Group Wants a Voice in Setting Airspace Policy

Four major drone manufacturers formed a new drone advocacy group, the Drone Manufacturers Alliance, to better address issues specific to their consumer-facing businesses. DJI, 3DR, Parrot and GoPro aim to lobby for “policies that promote innovation and safety, and create a practical and responsible regulatory framework.” The companies appear to have decamped from the founding trade association in the space, the Small UAV Coalition, which still counts Google X, Amazon Prime Air, AirMap, Intel and others as members. Continue reading Drone Makers Group Wants a Voice in Setting Airspace Policy

JetBlue to Offer More Inflight Entertainment via Amazon Prime

Beginning next quarter, JetBlue passengers on select aircraft will be able to stream movies, TV shows and music on seat-back display screens and personal devices through their Amazon Prime accounts at no additional charge. According to JetBlue, passengers who are not Prime members will have the option of registering inflight for a 30-day free trial to watch videos immediately. Passengers will also be able to rent or purchase content. The new service will be transmitted via JetBlue’s Fly-Fi inflight broadband. Continue reading JetBlue to Offer More Inflight Entertainment via Amazon Prime

Amazon Assures FAA That Prime Air Drones Safe for Deliveries

Amazon recently filed another request with the Federal Aviation Administration in which it advocated for a change in the regulations that are preventing the company from launching its drone-based delivery system called Prime Air. In its most recent proposal, Amazon claims to have addressed some of the safety concerns the FAA has had with drones for commercial usage. Among those claims, Amazon said its drones would rely on sensors and computers to safely travel on their designated routes. Continue reading Amazon Assures FAA That Prime Air Drones Safe for Deliveries

GoPro Has Plans to Join the Consumer Drone Market in 2015

In anticipation of a booming consumer drone market, GoPro has announced it plans to unveil a line of consumer multi-rotor helicopter drones for availability next year. Sources close to the company predict the drones will retail anywhere between $500 and $1,000. The company, which specializes in wearable video cameras for extreme sport enthusiasts, has been an advocate of the drone market. In fact, many of the drones available today are made to work with GoPro cameras. Continue reading GoPro Has Plans to Join the Consumer Drone Market in 2015

MLB and Row 44 will Stream Live Games on Flights

  • In-flight entertainment provider Row 44 Inc. has announced a deal with MLB Advanced Media to provide live streams of more than 2,400 baseball games on Wi-Fi enabled devices on airlines.
  • The service will initially be made available to passengers on Southwest and Norwegian Air Shuttle flights.
  • “Southwest is currently in the process of wiring its entire fleet with Row 44’s in-flight broadband system,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “The carrier is offering the service for a introductory rate of $5.”
  • “The integration of live baseball games into Row 44’s in-flight broadband entertainment experience ensures our traveling fans won’t have to miss a pitch,” says Bob Bowman, chief executive of Major League Baseball Advanced Media.