"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere) have driven the rapid development over the past decade of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—robotic planes flown by some combination of remote "pilot" operators, software, and GPS navigation. Ranging in size from that of a flying model kit to full-sized aircraft, UAVs, also referred to as unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), have done everything from spotting roadside bombs to bombing alleged Al-Qaeda hideouts—and now they're ready for civilian jobs. As war efforts wind down, the military is preparing to bring home the over 7,500 UAVs deployed overseas—and the companies that build them are looking to create a domestic market for the technology.
“What the military has shown abroad is there’s a tremendous amount of stuff you can do with this, if the regulatory environment permits—not just surveillance,” said Benjamin Wittes, a senior Brookings fellow, also at the April 4 event. Based on the advances in self-guidance and self-landing technology, he said, “there is no good reason anymore for there to be pilots in the domestic airspace. The main barrier is psychological, not technical.”
Privacy advocates and legal and technical experts have voiced concerns over the impact that cheap and pervasive flying sensor platforms will have on privacy, civil liberties, security, and demand for wireless spectrum.
I too would be concerned.
They can do whatever a REAL pilot wouldn´t...