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US gov gives Apple permission to use drones for Apple Maps

APPLE HAS BEEN GIVEN PERMISSION by the US government to use drones to hoover up data for Apple Maps (lol).

Cupertino was among a handful of companies seeking permission to carry out experimental drone flights beyond the limits currently enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Reuters reports that as part of the FAA’s spanking new drone program launched by Donald Trump, Tim Cook and pals will be able to zip drones around North Carolina to capture images to help make Apple Maps less of a stinking pile of tech excrement. 

Of course, such a move raises concerns about privacy. Google and its Street View cars are one thing, being potentially snooped on by drones is another.

But a spokesperson from Cupertino told Reuters that there’s basically nothing to be worried about: “Apple is committed to protecting people’s privacy, including processing this data to blur faces and license plates prior to publication.”

If Apple’s plans for its drones and privacy *ahem* just work then we could be set to see Apple Maps get a much-needed kick up the backside with accurate data and mapping that will help it compete with the mighty Google Maps.

That being said, getting permission to fly drones around South Carolina is one thing, doing it is another. After all, piloting unmanned drones isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to set up even if the regulatory red tape is cut; flying a drone straight and true isn’t the easiest thing to do and that’s not counting the risk of ploughing into rogue pigeons or avoiding being shot at by gun-totin’ rednecks.

While Apple got permission for its drone testing ambitions, other tech firms weren’t so lucky.

The US drone program has been designed to assess how drones can be regulated and worked into US airspace without borking normal aviation; Amazon offered to help but didn’t get the nod, which is kind of ironic given it probably flogs more drones than any other tech firm out there.

Seems like taking to the skies is en vogue with US tech firms as Uber has revealed it wants to get a flying taxi service up and running by 2023… alongside those flying pigs. µ

Source : Inquirer

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