Corporations and DARPA Want Approval For Military Drones Over American Cities

Corporations like General Atomics, the company that makes the predator drone, and DARPA want approval to fly over large cities. Utilizing a new artificial intelligence system called MATRIX, developers see a new opportunity for broader uses.

The FAA is working out how to change guidelines now to allow unmanned drones to fly over big cities. Large drones like the Predator are not currently allowed to fly over the U.S. except in a handful of areas, mostly along the US-Mexico border. While smaller drones are already being used by police departments for surveillance, there is a limit to what these drones can do.

Military Contractors are betting enormous military-style drones will be visible 2,000 feet above U.S. cities by 2025. The drones will be equipped with the most advanced surveillance systems, like the new system developed by Cambridge University that looks for indicators to predict social unrest, identifying “violent poses” in crowds or DARPA’s new imaging system, that can see an area the “size of a small city.”

These new tools will radically transform the way people and law enforcement interact, into what could become the ultimate in military presence over the United States.



Photo: “CBP Predator B Drone San Angelo Regional Airport” by Jonathan Cutrer is licensed under CC BY 2.0