I have been blogging about Nevada's efforts to pave the way toward driverless vehicles in that state. Nevada recently become the first state to pass a law tasking the Department of Motorvehicles with developing a set of standards to license autonomous driving on the state's highways. In other words, Nevada is hoping for an early mover advantage in cornering this emerging technology. Reports are now surfacing that Oklahoma has taken steps to reserve an air corridor for the domestic use of autonomous drones. If approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, this would free up an 80 mile stretch for the military, hobbyists, and others to operate drones in U.S. airspace. One estimate places the number of domestic drones at 15,000 by 2018.
Obviously, this move raises a number of issues, from innovation, to safety, to <a href'"http:="" ssrn.com="" abstract="1599189"">privacy (although maybe not in the way you think---more on this later). But, as with driverless cars, it makes complete sense for states to experiment with robotics in this way and for the nation to learn from their experience. Robots. Who knew. It almost makes you think we should start talking about the robotics social and legal policy. (Hat tip to my co-chair Matthew Henshon over at the American Bar Association Committee on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.)