Today at AUVSI the FAA shared information about it's new project dubbed, Pathfinder, a program to research how to safely perform BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Site) operations in the US. This will take at least 24+ months to complete, but is a good step forward for the FAA.
The FAA teamed up with three US companies to perform the research:
"CNN will be researching how visual line-of-sight operations might be used for newsgathering in urban areas.
PrecisionHawk, a manufacturer , will be surveying crops in rural areas using unmanned aircraft flying outside of the pilot’s direct vision.
BNSF Railroad will explore the challenges of using these vehicles to inspect their rail infrastructure beyond visual line-of-sight in isolated areas."