A bill filed Tuesday would allow delivery drones to operate in Florida.
The legislation (SB 460), however, focuses on ground drones, or “personal delivery devices.”
Such a unit is defined as a “motorized device for use primarily on sidewalks and crosswalks at a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour, which weighs 50 pounds or less excluding cargo.”
“With this legislation, Florida continues to lead in transportation policy,” said state Sen. Jeff Brandes, the St. Petersburg Republican who filed it.
He long has embraced “disruptive technologies,” such as ridebooking apps, for example.
“This technology could revolutionize home delivery and will usher in new business models,” Brandes said. “This type of innovative technology should be embraced by policymakers, and I am excited to focus Florida on the future.”
His bill also requires drone operators to carry insurance coverage, among other things, and prohibits drones on the state’s shared-use nonmotorized trail network, or SUNtrails.
Some of Brandes’ fellow lawmakers have not always been as receptive to drones.
In 2013, the Legislature limited Florida law enforcement’s use of flying drones, or remotely-controlled aircraft, in the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”
That measure was backed by Joe Negron, the Stuart Republican who is now the Senate President.