A new Federal committee could result in federal traffic drones being spotted in the skies of the Mid-Columbia.

As some may have heard, the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 opens up American airspace to UAV's or unmanned aerial vehicles.   Computerworld.com reports numerous federal agencies are already using drones to patrol the U.S. border with Mexico and for other surveillance duties.   Dozens of police departments and other law enforcement groups are applying, or have applied, for permits to test and operate them.

You may recall the Seattle Police Department recently returned it's drone and cancelled it's testing program after an uproar from privacy and citizens groups.  While there are no known plans for any local law enforcement group in the Columbia Basin to utilize them,  this could change at the federal level.

The new Federal Automotive Restriction Team has been created by the passage of House Bill 0401.   According to reports, the program will allow and has apparently already been put in motion, to have drones survey traffic in the Tri-Cities.

The drones are equipped with new technology that as they fly over highways and roads, can monitor the speed of cars and trucks.   If a vehicle is found to be obviously speeding,  the drone than send signals to the computer chips in your newer vehicle that will bring down the speed to posted limits!

Below is a schematic of a similar unit being tested in Georgia, and possibly operational already.

Georgia Department of Transportation)