Apple hires drone, aviation specialist as DC lobbyist

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Apple lobbyist Lisa Ellman with the DJI Mavic Air Drone
Apple sells and uses drones, and so retained Lisa Ellman, an expert in unmanned aircraft law, to lobby in Washington on its behalf.
Photo: Apple/Hogan Lovells

Apple hired an expert on drones and aviation law as a lobbyist. But this doesn’t mean the company is about to introduce a line of unmanned aircraft.

Instead, drones are used to collect data for Apple Maps. The company says it employs them to “examine street signs, track changes to roads and monitor if areas are under construction.”

And the company sells a number of these small, unmanned aircraft on the Apple Store.

There could be other drone-related plans not know outside of the company. It’s hard to predict with Apple, who has secret programs related to satellites, self-driving cars, VR headsets and more. Maybe it’s considering a flying car too.

Apple lobbyist is expert in unmanned aircraft

The company apparently turned to Lisa Ellman, a partner with Hogan Lovells, to make sure new laws aren‘t passed restricting its ability to do what it needs.

Before joining this firm, Ellman led the Department of Justice’s efforts to develop a policy for drones and other Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). She also represented the DoJ in the federal interagency process for UAS-related policy issues.

Ellman began working on Apple’s behalf last month.

Source: Bloomberg