Small drones will be allowed to fly over people and at night in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday.
This represents a significant step toward their use for widespread commercial deliveries.
The FAA said its long-awaited rules for the drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, will address security concerns by requiring, in most cases, remote identification technology to enable their identification from the ground.
Previously, small drone flights over people were limited to operations over those who were directly participating in the operation, located under a covered structure, or inside a stationary vehicle - unless operators had obtained a waiver from the FAA.
For at-night operations, the FAA said drones must be equipped with anti-collision lights. The final rules allow operations over moving vehicles in some circumstances.
The new rules will take effect 60 days after publication in the federal register in January.