REPORT: First Automated Commercial Drone Flights Approved By FAA

Not related to the drones from the story. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Taylor Giles Contributor
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reportedly granted American Robotics Inc. permission to fly drones autonomously in U.S. airspace.

Under the latest decision, the drones are only permitted to fly in rural areas or altitudes below 400 feet, according to the Wall Street Journal.

American Robotics’ drones will reportedly operate using acoustic technology that can detect and avoid various obstacles associated with flying. The drones are also programmed to fly on predetermined routes.

The decision by the FAA provides “a critical step forward to growing acceptance” Lisa Ellman, an attorney representing American Robotics, reportedly said about the approval. (RELATED: Drones Will Be Able To Fly Over Neighborhoods At Night If Trump Proposal Takes Effect)

The drones from American Robotics will be used in agricultural operations throughout Kansas, Massachusetts, and Nevada, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In order to be approved by the FAA, the drones reportedly underwent four years of testing in eight different states.

Other companies are hoping the decision will allow for more opportunities within the drone industry, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Previously, drone operators were reportedly required to operate drones within sight to avoid potential collisions.