I'm a loyal AUVSI (Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) member, but this is just sad. In an effort to distance the industry from public perceptions around the word "drone" at a congressional hearing last week, they said this:
“This is more than a pilotless vehicle,” Michael Toscano, president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, said at Leahy’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, convened to consider privacy risks. “There’s nothing unmanned about unmanned systems.’’
First of all, what?? Second, it may be that there are 60+ people in ground support for each Global Hawk in the air, but that's sure not the case for the smaller drones, including the ones we fly. At the moment we still usually keep one "pilot" on the ground (guy just watching and able to take over manual control if needed) for each drone in the air, but that's just a safety measure. These things take off, run their mission and land autonomously. When all goes well, there's no human in the loop at all.
Either the AUVSI is out of touch with what's really going on with drones, or they're backing themselves into a rhetorical corner that they won't be able to get out of.
(Photo of CyFly tethered drone from Boston Globe article linked above)