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Apple's co-founder calls for regulation of drone usage

2015-02-11 09:19 Xinhua Web Editor: Qin Dexing

American IT legend Steven Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer (Apple Inc.) together with the late Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne in the late 1970s, said Tuesday in Dubai that while drones for private use is positive technological development, but the usage should be government-regulated to avoid accidents.

Speaking at the ongoing 2015 United Arab Emirates (UAE) government summit, Wozniak said drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are useful observation tools and can monitor and photograph districts aerially and deliver books.

However, Wozniak said a rising number of private individuals using drones "can lead to crowded skies and if they crash on a building or person it will cause terrible accidents. Therefore I favor government-regulated drone usage."

Wozniak admitted to having experimented with UAVs in the United States, adding that increased private use and the rising technical sophistication of drones proves that it belongs to a body of future technologies such as virtual reality or cloud computing.

On Jan. 23, Dubai International Airport closed for over 40 minutes for security reasons after an unknown mini-drone flew by restricted air space in the biggest civil aviation hub in the Middle East.

The UAE has launched several e-governance initiatives in support of the use of drones by private and public entities in the Gulf Arab state.

Prior to the UAE government summit which is running its third edition, the government held a competition for young inventors who demonstrated how drones could be used to improve daily life.

The Gulf state plans to deliver personal documents such as identity cards to its residents through drone service in the future and it launched a pilot project on this subject at the 2013 government summit.

The three-day UAE government summit, named "shaping government futures," lasts until Wednesday.

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