Admittedly I am more of a critic of how people will react than a predictor of it. Many people still see landing on the moon as the pinnacle of human achievement and again, I argue, how so? What did it accomplish or change? Not much. There is something I don't see about how people perceive things.
Heck, look what Tesla already accomplished - they complained about California's ground rules, and got an exemption written into law for themselves - without casting a vote or spending a dollar! From the article: "On the legislative front, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, co-authored a bipartisan bill, yet to be fleshed out, enabling Mather Field's business park, outside Sacramento, to avoid time-consuming environmental reviews. Large tax breaks were floated, like the $425 million tax break passed earlier this month for Lockheed Martin to persuade the company to build a new generation of bombers at its Los Angeles plant."
How can businesses refuse to play politics when half-billion dollar handouts are to be had for the asking?
Here's an article on google's political coming of age:
The rise of Google as a top-tier Washington player fully captures the arc of change in the influence business.
Nine years ago, the company opened a one-man lobbying shop, disdainful of the capital's pay-to-play culture.
Since then, Google has soared to near the top of the city's lobbying ranks, placing second only to General Electric in corporate lobbying expenditures in 2012 and fifth place in 2013.
... Today, Google is working to preserve its rights to collect consumer data - and shield it from the government - amid a backlash over revelations that the National Security Agency tapped Internet companies as part of its surveillance programs. And it markets cloud storage and other services to federal departments, including intelligence agencies and the Pentagon.
"Technology issues are a big - and growing - part of policy debates in Washington, and it is important for us to be part of that discussion," said Susan Molinari, a Republican former congresswoman from New York who works as Google's top lobbyist.
The most horrible thing about corruption is that one it sets in, you can't just unilaterally opt out without severe negative consequences.
But I was more disappointed by this example of what is not allowed: "Determining whether crops need to be watered that are grown as part of a commercial farming operation."
You don't need a big, heavy drone to take pictures, and there isn't much to crash into on farm land. (Granted, the max altitude must still be limited to prevent collisions with larger aircraft.)
Now, maybe satellite imagery is or will soon be the cheapest way to do this anyways, and maybe moisture imaging is best done in non-visible wavelengths that hobby drones don't have. But those are market concerns. I don't see much safety concern in buzzing around a farm.
There are plenty of ways to get research funding that don't involve a trillion dollar bureaucracy.
"Plenty," such as....