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Michigan, Ontario partner for drone study

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Michigan and Ontario, Canada, have announced plans to study the feasibility of delivery drones.

Michigan and Ontario, Canada, have teamed up for a feasibility study into using drones for cross-border package delivery or medical transport.

The potential drone skyway could have commercial uses like package delivery or medical transport.

State Department of Transportation spokesperson Michael Frezell said drone technology is the wave of the future.

“What better place to test it out between Ontario, through an international border, and Michigan? And this allows us the ability to transfer products between both countries, especially in a world where we’re seeing a lot of supply chain issues,” Frezell said.

Current federal regulations prohibit drones from being flown outside of a pilot’s line of sight.

The study aims to prepare the state for when that changes.

Frezell said it’s too early to estimate timelines for conclusions and other details from the analysis.

“The study is going to have to show what this will look like, how many drones could be used, and where can they be used,” he said.

The feasibility study also looks at the potential of drones to carry goods within southeast Michigan and other parts of the state.

Michigan’s side of the contract costs about $500,000.

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