Santa Monica-based drone operations company AirMap is among eight companies selected to help the Federal Aviation Administration establish technical requirements for Remote ID, a protocol that drones will be required to follow for broadcasting identification and location data while in flight.

The other companies include Airbus, Amazon, T-Mobile, Intel, OneSky, Skyward and Alphabet's drone subsidiary, Wing.

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In the midst of the current global health crisis, the commercial drone industry is helping businesses keep essential projects on track. Drones are a significant player across a full spectrum of industries, allowing companies in insurance, construction, infrastructure, energy and others to maintain critical operations by safe, contactless solutions. In fact, Barclays estimates the use of drones will result in cost savings of $100 billion across industries.

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UPS' drone subsidiary and the CVS pharmacy chain say they'll start delivering prescription medicines to the nation's largest retirement community next month, using Matternet's M2 drone delivery system.

The service, approved by the Federal Aviation Administration under Part 107 rules, will be available for The Villages, a community in central Florida that's home to more than 135,000 residents. UPS Flight Forward and CVS will be authorized to operate through the coronavirus pandemic and explore continuing needs as they arise once the pandemic fades.

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