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The Drone Economy: Building the Next Great Computing Platform

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by Peter Cleveland, Vice President of Global Public Policy at Intel Corporation

Tomorrow, Josh Walden, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the New Technology Group at Intel, will testify before the House Energy & Commerce Committee on the evolving uses and economic impact of drones (i.e. UAVs).

Intel is particularly invested in the future of the drone industry because we see its potential – drones, like wearables and vehicles, are a computing platform of the future. With practical applications ranging from agriculture to disaster response to infrastructure safety, drones offer an incredible opportunity for innovation and economic growth across a multitude of industries.

But before we get there, ensuring safety and privacy is critical. Intel has been hard at work on this – actively investing in impressive drone companies, collaborating with regulators and making important technological contributions to the advancement of the industry. Intel RealSense technology for example, which Intel CEO Brian Krzanich demonstrated on-stage at CES this year, enables drones to identify and avoid obstacles – all on their own. Privacy protections are built-in, with the RealSense system collecting only the data needed for collision avoidance. While there is still more work to do, innovations like this will help shape a safe and responsible drone industry.

With nearly 700,000 drones expected to be sold this year, according to the Consumer Technology Association, the industry is already going rapidly. To protect our global leadership position, the United States needs a flexible regulatory framework that will adapt to technology as it evolves, protect public safety and privacy, and support the innovation and entrepreneurship that will lead to advances unimagined before now. We look forward to working together with the Administration, Congress and a diverse group of stakeholders to take this next great computing platform forward.

Be sure to watch Josh’s testimony with a live drone demonstration at 10:15 a.m. ET on Thursday, November 19.