Now that police forces in cities all across America have implemented the controversial use of unmanned aircraft to aid in law enforcement capabilities, the next phase of aerial drone use was recently made public when DARPA and aircraft designers reported that they’re working with the FAA on new guidelines for larger drones. They have developed a new system of artificial intelligence ominously called MATRIX to potentially fly large military planes and helicopters that are retrofitted from having human pilots to being autonomous.
Right now the FAA restricts the use of such unmanned aircraft to a few southern border regions of the U.S. that are mostly uninhabited. But DARPA and aircraft makers want those rules and regulations expanded to allow for flying drones over U.S. cities to do such things as transporting people and supplies to oil rigs. Although they don’t mention the use of surveillance capabilities, we know how mission creep often has a way of inserting itself into ideas like these, so I imagine at some point in the future, surveillance will come into play under the guise of trying to save lives or improve quality of life.
It’s not much of a stretch to imagine that eventual direction given the fact two years ago DARPA expressed a keen interest in cameras that “can see around corners and reveal hidden objects” combined with their interest in other advanced imaging capabilities. When one also considers the expanding use of facial recognition software and the development of systems to fly aircraft by using only brainwaves, DARPA can take the use of these drones in a myriad of different directions. They are hoping for a target date of the FAA changes in the mid-2020’s. Two of the big questions the changes may ultimately bring are: (1) how will all of this affect commercial airline travel? and (2) what affect, if any, will it really have on the everyday lives of US citizens living in metropolitan areas?
Nicholas West, DARPA Pushes For FAA Approval For Military Drones Over American Cities, Activist Post (republished at Prophecy News Watch), November 5, 2018.