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The smartphone app plots its course, but the heavy lifting is done in the cloud.

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SANTA CRUZ, Calif.—One day soon, we will receive packages at our doorsteps, delivered by your local friendly drone.
Or at least, that’s the hope for a handful of drone delivery startups, some of which exhibited their wares Friday at the Drone Data X Conference in this coastal town less than an hour’s drive south of Silicon Valley.
There’s just one major problem: the Federal Aviation Administration requires that drone pilots maintain line-of-sight. So, an aerial courier company with a fleet of drones won’t be operating in the United States anytime soon. But drone startups are drawn to Silicon Valley for access to engineering talent and venture capital.
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