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Send in the Aggie drones

Thursday, August 7, 2014 by Mark Richardson

At Tuesday’s Council works session, the Austin City Council discussed a proposed interlocal agreement between the city and the Texas A&M University System that would investigate potential future uses of unmanned aerial vehicles (better known as drones) and other robotics in emergency response situations. Austin Fire Department Assistant Chief Richard Davis stated that the agreement would have no fiscal impact on the City, and that “the technology has promise.” Davis explained that the goal of the four-year project is to have developed a plan for implementing the technology by its end. Council Member Bill Spelman, who requested that the item be discussed, expressed concern about the way that such a project may be perceived by the public. He suggested that the Fire Department split the program into four, year-long projects, with progress reports at the end of each year.


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