As part of the UAS Integration Pilot Program, the N.C. Department of Transportation is working with various private and public sector organizations to carry out various unmanned aircraft operations and to collect data on the flights to share with the Federal Aviation Administration to use in creating policy.
AirMap provides airspace intelligence services and unmanned traffic management systems that help drone users fly safely and communicate with others in low-altitude airspace.
In collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration, AirMap developed digital automated authorization for drone operations in controlled airspaces. This “Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability” system, which rolls out nationally in 2018, and will allow drone users to instantly notify air traffic control of their flight plans and check for potential hazards.
AirMap also offers a platform for unmanned traffic management services that supports registration and identity authentication of unmanned traffic management solutions, geofencing, flight services, airspace authorization, extended and beyond-visual line of sight enablement, ground-based radar integration, weather monitoring, telemetry and two-way communications.
Apple has partnered with North Carolina’s UAS Integration Pilot Program to learn more about using drones to improve Apple Maps’ ground imaging and monitoring of real-time traffic conditions.
Apple collects both aerial and ground images around the world to improve Apple Maps and will capture additional aerial images in select areas using drones.
Apple is committed to protecting people's privacy and will process its data to blur faces and license plates prior to publication.
Flytrex, based in Tel Aviv, offers a safe solution for a drone’s delivery and return, which is the most difficult part of deliveries. The company’s system performs automatic aerial missions, controlled and monitored through the cloud using an easy-control dashboard.
As part of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s UAS Integration Pilot Program, Flytrex plans to offer on-demand food delivery services from restaurants to homes in nearby suburban areas, delivering orders safely and affordably to customer's backyards.
Fortem Technologies offers a military-tested and commercially available hardware and software platform that provides surveillance, monitoring, detection, classification and tracking of drones, which allows operators to maneuver drones easily once they passes a pilot’s line of sight.
Fortem has worked with the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA Unmanned Traffic Management and Federal Aviation Administration Detect and Avoid as well as with multiple private sector companies involved in drone deliveries, inspections and taxis.
The company’s area of focus in the UAS Integration Pilot Program will include R20 Radar, which is a small radar mounted to a drone that enables a pilot to identify obstacles in low visibility. Fortem’s contribution will also include air surveillance, monitoring, tracking, identification, detect-and-avoid technology, air traffic management and counter-unmanned aerial system technology.
Matternet has developed an autonomous delivery platform, including package stations, a commercial delivery drone and cloud software, all focusing on medical logistics.
Matternet has been in business since 2013 and has extensive experience with delivery operations that go beyond a pilot’s line of sight. In June 2018, Matternet completed three weeks of delivery flights in Zurich, Switzerland, and has daily beyond-visual-line-of-sight lab-sample deliveries between two hospitals in Lugano, Switzerland.
Matternet’s role in the UAS Integration Pilot Program includes ground-based radar, unmanned traffic management, medical package delivery, beyond visual line of sight flying, remote identification and flights over people.
Founded in 2010, Raleigh-based PrecisionHawk is a leading provider of advanced commercial drone technologies, including hardware, software and services. Its technology and services are used in the agriculture, construction, energy, insurance and government industries, and its partners and clients have flown over 9 million acres of land, buildings and infrastructure since 2014.
PrecisionHawk’s primary focus for the UAS Integration Pilot Program is unmanned traffic management with its LATAS Drone Safety Platform. PrecisionHawk’s capabilities with LATAS include:
- Real-time tracking of unmanned aircraft using GPS, cellular and flight control software
- Unmanned traffic management
- Flight planning
- Mapping of airspace and ground obstructions
- Geofencing for drone flight areas
- Real-time air traffic alerts
- API for integration with third-party or custom unmanned traffic management applications
- Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability to help pilots easily request permission to fly
- Real-time tracking of manned aircraft using ADS-B data
T-Mobile is partnering with the N.C. Department of Transportation on the UAS Integration Pilot Program to enable advanced drone operations, leveraging the company’s 4G LTE network to test a variety of LTE-connected drone solutions. These range from command and control for flying beyond a visual line of sight to real-time data gathering from drones in flight.
T-Mobile is interested in enabling any operations that require or greatly benefit from a wireless network. This includes BVLOS flying, package delivery, operations over people, operations at night and unmanned traffic management. The company’s objective is to test and prove the reliability and safety of cellular networks for all types of unmanned aircraft system communications.
T-Mobile will use existing cell tower infrastructure and cellular coverage to enable these communications. Remote ID and tracking is available via cellular network, and location technologies can assist advances in unmanned aircraft system navigation accuracy. Security is also a serious concern, and T-Mobile will be leveraging the full capabilities of its network to protect information.
Town of Holly Springs
Holly Springs will use drone technology to improve the town’s services and the lives of its residents. Located in southwest Wake County, Holly Springs has a rapidly growing population of 35,000 and is located near the Research Triangle Park and several top universities.
The town has been using drones for several years for infrastructure inspections, construction monitoring, engineering design and economic development projects and hopes to expand on these applications in the future.
The town has had success with developing a drone users group consisting of staff from several departments. The town is also excited to explore the benefits of commercial deliveries and to examine the deliveries’ effects on transportation congestion and safety.
UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions, including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage various businesses.
UPS has partnered with Matternet and the NCDOT UAS Integration Pilot Program to test a groundbreaking new logistics program using unmanned drones to deliver medical lab samples at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh. UPS will use what it learns at WakeMed to identify drone service opportunities at more U.S. hospitals and potentially other specialized segments.
Enhancing the UPS Global Smart Logistics Network to support hospitals and other healthcare organizations remains a key element of the company’s transformation strategy. Health care and life science logistics is a priority for UPS, working to deliver better patient care with streamlined logistics and supply chain.
Founded in 1961 as the Memorial Hospital of Wake County, Raleigh-based WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a private not-for-profit healthcare system that is the leading provider of health care services in Wake County and the only hospital system based there.
Drones can address inefficiencies in supply chains, recover costs and enable a broader re-design of healthcare delivery systems. WakeMed is focused on developing a network of unmanned aircraft systems for scheduled and on-demand package delivery of small parcels across its health care system.
WakeMed anticipates significant advantages in terms of cost, delivery efficiency and centralization of certain laboratory and pharmacy functions once the drone delivery network is functional.
Zipline International is a Silicon Valley-based logistics company that designs, manufactures and operates unmanned aircraft systems to deliver essential medical products. With Zipline, anywhere can have fast and reliable access to life-saving medical products regardless of infrastructure, terrain or traffic.
Zipline is fully operational in Rwanda, putting all citizens of the country within 45 minutes of any essential medical product. To date, Zipline has completed more than 2,700 deliveries with a total of more than 5,000 units of blood.