Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s industry ministry will start a project to develop a system to manage drone flights, informed sources told Jiji Press on Friday.
The move will precede the planned lifting in the second half of 2022 at the earliest of a ban on Level 4 drone flights, conducted above populated areas beyond the visual line of sight of remote pilots.
The ministry aims to put into practical use a management technology to ensure safe simultaneous fights of multiple drones and a method to evaluate the safety of drone fuselages, the sources said.
The ministry will seek 3.8 billion yen in its fiscal 2022 budget request in order to jointly develop such technologies and methods with private-sector companies and research institutions.
Currently, drone flight management programs differ among businesses aiming to launch delivery services based on Level 4 technology.
This makes it necessary to establish a common flight management system and drone fuselage standards in order to prevent collisions when multiple drones fly in the same airspace.
For the project, the ministry plans to utilize the Fukushima Robot Test Field, a research and development hub in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
The project, which will also cover flying cars, is expected to start in summer next year, bringing together drone makers, logistics and information and communications technology companies and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.