22/06/2016. Existing Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) rules had meant commercial operators needed a pilot's licence in order to fly even small drones - a stipulation industry advocates said was unnecessarily restrictive. In addition to the licence, commercial drone operators had to apply to the FAA on a case-by-case basis to gain permission. To date, only 5,300 commercial applicants were successful in gaining permission from the FAA, a tiny fraction of drones owned in the US. Critics of the old system said the process was too cumbersome and expensive. From August, commercial drone operators will be able to fly by meeting much simpler criteria.

"We are part of a new era in aviation, and the potential for unmanned aircraft will make it safer and easier to do certain jobs, gather information, and deploy disaster relief," said US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx.

More info: Drone industry delight at new US rules

December 22, 2015. We're kind of in the Wild West when it comes to drones, said Clay Coleman an oceanic air traffic controller supervisor at the FAA and director of the Bay Area Drone Film Festival.

People can buy a drone, have it delivered to their house tomorrow and be flying it within 15 minutes. And a lot of people that are doing this have no idea about airspace and about the problems that they can cause getting too close to manned aircraft and flying where they're not supposed to be flying ... it's just a matter of time in this scenario before somebody gets hurt or even worse.

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/22/faa-requires-toy-drone-owners-to-register-aircraft.html

15 Mai 2015. Google on Friday announced it will begin testing prototypes of its fully autonomous self-driving cars on public roads. The vehicles won't roam too far from their Mountain View California home, but this latest phase of testing could be critical both for cultivating positive consumer perceptions, and influencing future legislation affecting the nascent sector.

Google has a few driverless car prototypes that will be testing this summer, said Chris Urmson, director of the Google Self-Driving Car Project. The prototypes are based on the familiar Smart Fortwo-like bubble designs that have become almost synonymous with self-driving cars.

http://googleblog.blogspot.be/2015/05/self-driving-vehicle-prototypes-on-road.html

15 February 2015. The Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today's aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations. The FAA proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.

In addition to this proposal, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum concerning transparency, accountability, and privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections for the Federal Government’s use of UAS in the national airspace system which directs the initiation of a multi-stakeholder engagement process to develop a framework for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues concerning commercial and private UAS use.

https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=18295

There can be many delays along the road from concept to certification. For instance, government officials and the designers have had to determine which regulations — aircraft or automotive — take precedence when the vehicle in question is both.

In the United States USA, development of the flying car was given some breathing room eight years ago when the F.A.A. created a new classification, the light-sport category, to encourage the design of small, easy-to-fly aircraft. To meet the light-sport definition, the aircraft must have a single engine and an unpressurized cabin, have one or two seats and weigh no more than 1,320 pounds; maximum air speed is limited to 138 miles per hour.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/automobiles/before-flying-car-can-take-off-theres-a-checklist.html