Zacc Dukowitz

NASA Will Test Drone Traffic Management Systems in U.S. Cities as Final Phase of UTM Project

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NASA recently announced that two partners have been selected to host the fourth and final phase of its UTM Project, which will test the system’s ability to safely and effectively manage drone traffic in urban areas—read today's article to learn more about NASA's UTM Project and their plans for testing drone traffic management in an urban environment.

While it’s exciting that NASA is closing in on the final phase of their UTM Project, there doesn’t seem to be much information available about how they plan to bridge the gap from technological development to actual use.

So what are your thoughts—when do you think we'll see UTM implemented throughout the U.S., as it already is in Switzerland? And how important is UTM to the future of the drone industry as a whole?

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I don't think it will be a "big bang" launch across all geographies and operators.  It will roll out incrementally as sufficient evidence of safety and repeatability is demonstrated for each type of technology, methodology and locational-scenario (rural/city, lawns/portals, open space/narrow city-canyons, etc).  Probably 3 years before the first "public" UTM is released - with lots of constraints.  Before that period there will be private implementations such as hospitals and utility inspections (probably limited to private property fly-overs).

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