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Iris Automation successfully completed a Beyond-Visual-Line-Of-Sight BVLOS drone flight that was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Kansas. The flight is seen as an important step towards making commercial drone flights routine across the country. The onboard drone collision-avoidance system has been created by Iris Automation. The company said that routine flights may start taking place in a matter of months.

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FAA approved Iris Automation BVLOS drone flight

Jacob Douglas writes for CNBS that:

Earlier this year in Alaska, two drones flew toward a manned vehicle as if they were playing a high-tech game of chicken. One of the drones was piloted by a human; the other was equipped with Iris Automation’s Casia onboard collision-avoidance system. The goal: to not hit the manned vehicle. In the head-to-head matchup, the Iris Automation system won 95% of the time.

Those numbers gave the Federal Aviation Administration enough confidence in the tech company’s system to allow it to make history, and a few weeks ago the history-making drone flight took place over Kansas.

The flight was a joint project under KDOT’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, involving Kansas State Polytechnic, utility company Evergy and Iris Automation. Using a fixed-wing drone, the team was able to fly BVLOS to inspect power lines for the utility.

“I was just in New Zealand speaking with their Civil Aviation Authority,” Alexander Harmsen, CEO of Iris Automation said. “I was in Canada talking to their Civil Aviation Authority. A lot of them look to the U.S. as the gold standard for this sort of thing. So getting this approval from Kansas is a big deal for the entire world.”

You can read the entire article here.

What do you think about BVLOS drone flights? Let us know in the comments below.

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