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Before drones are authorized to hover over busy cities to police the streets, carry out deliveries and repair potholes, authorities need to have a plan in place for all that extra air traffic and bring some order to air space traffic.
NASA has been developing a solution to this over the past four years, and is now moving ahead with its final phase of testing where drones will put through their most complex demonstrations yet.
The technology is based on the idea of having corridors of airspace reserved for unmanned aircraft carrying out different tasks, below the altitude where general aviation begins at 500 ft (152 m), according to newatlas.com.
NASA wants to carry out the drone flight tests in populated urban environments in order to test its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) system.
This phase of testing will be one of the most complicated demonstrations of drones running in populated urban locations as of yet. With these tests, vital information needed for the commercial drone industry will be obtained. It is thought that these tests will influence the rules and regulations of future traffic management of flying drones in populated areas.
Flight tests will be carried out by NASA in collaboration with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems in Las Vegas and the Lone Star UAS Center for Excellence and Innovation in Corpus Christi, Texas, according to forbes.com.