A cell-tower mediated network of centrally authorized and controlled commercial drone aircraft, that's what they want to do. Not self aware Terminators perhaps, but its a net and its in the freakin' sky.
This latest report is based on documents released to The Guardian through a Freedom of Information request, and reveal deep industry ties to the project. Verizon's near-ubiquitous cell will be the sole host for early tests, though all carriers would be required to adopt any system the FAA did decide to endorse. Amazon and Google are also on board to help government develop their Unmanned aerial systems Traffic Management (UTM) system, which could make commercial drone services more likely while making unfettered personal use more difficult. The system would not only track drones with cell towers, but use those towers to provide drones with data about their environment and the placement of other flyers. This would allow them to not only watch, but control the behavior of drones; NASA wants the system to be able to "geo-fence" areas like airports and political centers so drones simply cannot go there. They could decide which drones should take precedence in congested areas, or force drones to land during bad weather. Though it isn't mentioned in the documents, this would likely also allow authorities to ground participating drones they believe to be involved in illegal activity.
Looks a lot like the plans for the self-driving car, doesn't it? Because its the same plan. Ubiquitous surveillance, centralized command and control, distributing the system cost across the whole population in tax, concentrating the profit in the hands of Friends. By which I mean guys who contribute to certain political campaigns.
Otherwise know as a police state scam.
Aren't there any delivery driver's unions anymore? Shouldn't they be raising all kinds of Hell over this?