Report: Apple, FedEx land successful bids for U.S. drone program as Amazon, China's DJI miss out
Thursday, 10 May 2018 Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) are among the applicants behind the10 initial projects selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to assess how to regulate drones and safely integrate them into U.S. air space, according to a report by Reuters. Projects put forth by online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and China's DJI, the world's largest maker of non-military drones, did not make the cut, Reuters reported. The news service said about a dozen applications that involved DJI were rejected, as was an application that involved Amazon delivering goods by drone to shoppers in New York City. Reuters said the Transportation Department initiative drew 149 bids from locales looking to host flights at night, flights over people and other drone operations that U.S. rules prohibit. The applications listed companies that the locales would partner with in the experiments, according to Reuters, with the winners potentially gaining a leg up on the revenue and jobs the young industry could create. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said dozens more projects could be approved in coming months, either with new waivers or under existing rules, according to Reuters. Reuters said the broad interest in the U.S. initiative, launched by PresidentDonald Trump last year, underscores companies' desire to have a say in how drones are regulated and to win approval to operate them for a wide range of purposes. Among the other companies involved in the selected projects are Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC), aircraft maker Airbus SE and ride services provider Uber Technologies Inc., Reuters reported.