The small plastic quadricopter drones that have become so popular have far more in common with model airplanes than with military style UAVs, and FAA regulations should recognize that fact. The whole point of these things is low altitude aerial photography, and I fail to understand how air traffic safety is affected by the images being of a commercial nature rather than not for profit.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.