Apple Hires Drone and Aviation Law Expert as Washington Lobbyist

Apple has retained Lisa Ellman, a lawyer specializing in drone and aviation law, as a Washington lobbyist, reports Bloomberg.

Ellman, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells, leads her firm's Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice and also co-founded the Commercial Drone Alliance. She has been doing lobbying work for Apple since December.

A DJI Mavic Pro drone

Apple since 2016 has been using drones for data collection purposes to boost the quality of Apple Maps. Apple's drones are able to capture and update mapping data faster than the LiDAR-equipped minivans that it has used to collect mapping information since 2015.

Apple in 2018 was also a participant in a pilot program that allows the company to operate drones in ways restricted by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Apple partnered with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to use drones to capture aerial mapping data.

Bloomberg suggests that Apple's new lobbying efforts indicate a new push into the growing drone field. Apple also has a team working on satellites that Ellman could potentially assist with when it comes to regulations.

In addition to employing drones for mapping purposes, Apple also sells popular drones from DJI in its Apple retail stores and on its website.

Tag: drones

Top Rated Comments

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11 weeks ago
Professional briber*
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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11 weeks ago


millions of apple drones in the sky. introducing apple maps live.


The Apple drone will get lost using Apple maps.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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11 weeks ago
But have they hired an expert in Bird Law? THAT is the question.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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11 weeks ago
I still don’t understand how bribing, I mean lobbying is legal. That’s just a fancy word for corruption. It’s better than narcos giving you a visit I suppose
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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11 weeks ago
They are probably having to hire lawyers and lobbyists due to the draconian rules the FAA put into effect basically making the United States a no fly zone for drones without a Part 107 pilots certification
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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11 weeks ago


I still don’t understand how bribing, I mean lobbying is legal.


Here's how: The purpose of a lobbyist is to provide information (not money) to elected officials to further the interests of the lobbyist's employer.

If there's money changing hands, that would be a bribe, and illegal. But it would be bribery, not lobbying. For an established lobbyist whose business is based on specialized knowledge, such as the one mentioned in this article, that would be a crazy risk to take.

Legitimate, established lobbyists would not be involved in bribery, as it would kill their careers, if caught. However, a lobbyist could, legally, point out that their client has contributed $$$ to the elected official's campaign. That's the legal way to tie big money into politics. If you want to go after the disgrace that is money in politics, better to put your efforts into limiting corporate campaign contributions.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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