In less than a decade, at least one city in the U.S. will be filled with self-driving electric planes carrying people and packages — at least if NASA’s future drone plans can be realized, foreign media reported. On Tuesday, local time, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein came up with the idea, but he knows it won’t be easy.
“We’re moving fast,” the director said at the Commercial Drone Expo in Las Vegas. We hope that by 2028 at least one city — perhaps more than one — will have the ability to control hundreds of drone systems. They may be used to carry cargo or to carry persons, carrying out thousands of missions per day. “
To make this vision a reality, NASA is implementing a major challenge incentive program to improve the maturity of the technology. Bridenstine likened it to the U.S. government’s 2004 robot-car challenge, which eventually led companies such as Waymo, Cruise and Uber to launch their current self-driving car services.
Drones have now replaced jobs such as filming, monitoring refineries, gathering military intelligence and assisting search and rescue operations. But to transition to a world where drones are widely available requires not only major technological changes, but also major changes in safety, regulation and social acceptance. It is clear that the Trump administration wants to encourage this change to happen rather than wait for it to happen passively.
Many companies are already studying drone technology. Like Amazon Prime Air, which has launched a new drone delivery design, UPS wants to ship medical supplies to hospitals and homes with drones. Start-ups such as Uber, Kitty Hawk and NFT have joined the competition from aviation giants such as Airbus and Bell to make travel easier for people.
Drone program faces plenty of challenges
Bridenstine knows there are many challenges, including infrastructure issues such as drone landings, and noise.
He believes some of the problem could be solved by switching from gasoline-powered drones to battery-powered drones.
In addition, he said, “We want to make sure that the U.S. continues to export abroad.” “
NASA’s Lunar Mission
The strength of the U.S. aviation industry is built on past investments, which is why the U.S. now needs to invest in urban air traffic research, Mr. Bridenstine said. Most people associate NASA with space missions, and Briddenstin quipped that people forget that NASA’s first A representative is “aeronautical.”
He also talked about NASA’s other missions, including sending humans to the moon and Mars. With the support of congressional Republicans and Democrats, as well as President Trump, NASA has pushed ahead with its Artemis program to build a lunar base.
“By 2024, the next male (astronaut) and the first woman (astronaut) will land on the moon’s south pole. We will do this in five years, and we will create a sustainable base for us to be able to land on Mars. In addition, he said, the mission could even be carried out by two female astronauts.