Will we deregulate drones? Should we? When might that become possible?:
There are very few drones over our cities. Commercial interests are not allowed to fly overhead. Nor most local governments. Hobbyists can, if they keep their drones under 400 feet. And the skies will eventually open up to everyone. “Ironically, my nine-year-old can fly drones, but the police department can’t.” Anderson says.
The problem is that our airspace is governed by a policy called sense-and-avoid. Flying vehicle control systems — be they people or computers — are ultimately responsible for avoiding other vehicles. And today’s drones, as a rule, have no facility to make them aware of other aircraft.
Anderson says there is still a long way to go when it comes to autonomous vehicles. The videos we’ve seen of quadcopters flying through tiny slits or playing instruments are taken in highly-controlled environments, he says.
Out in the real world, GPS and wind leads to much less precise positioning.