Google, together with Amazon, Verizon and many others, have expressed interest in creating an air-traffic control system for drones. Although the goal is to prevent mid-air collisions, whoever figures out a system first will get "a foothold in an emerging multibillion-dollar economy of unmanned flying machines."
Google called competitors and government agencies to its own conference in June to share its vision of air-traffic control. The foundation of any system must be the ability to trust that all participants will reliably identify themselves and their locations, Vos said. The airspace must be open to any drones willing to follow the rules.
Networks of computers on the ground and in the air will set routes that avoid mid-air collisions. Humans will still be in charge, but unlike the current air-traffic system, controllers must rely on computers to make the split-second decisions necessary to keep drone traffic flowing and safe, he said.
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