The NPRM assumes that all UAS are radio controlled by a ground- or water-based observer. There are plenty of other possibilities, including fully "autonomous" aircraft. Strictly speaking, autonomous means completely independent of, and impervious to, human control throughout the course of a flight. Realistically, just like present-day cars and manned airplanes, UAS will perform an expanding repertory of tasks autonomously without becoming fully autonomous. Still, the word autonomous occurs only once in the 48-page NPRM, and that is in a chart comparing the proposed rules with current ones in Canada and Australia (places to which, incidentally, Google and Amazon have gone to do their UAS development work unencumbered by U.S. rules). Under the heading of "autonomous operations" Canada and Australia both get a "no" while the NPRM gets a "yes," but without further elaboration.