It was only a matter of time before the competing interests of a number of parties brought drone registration front and center. We don’t know yet how it will pan out, but 3DR and DJI, makers of quadcopters like the Solo [B&H|Amazon] and Phantom 3 Professional [B&H|Amazon] are working preemptively — and quickly — to keep registration requirements reasonable. Good idea!
If DJI, 3DR and others build certain protections directly into their quadcopter iOS and Android apps, this should go a long way toward ameliorating the concerns of regulators that ordinary consumers could inadvertently bring down an Airbus.
Announced within days of each other, 3DR's AirMap collaboration and DJI's Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) collaboration do just that by delivering geofencing — in which restricted airspace is both identified and set off limits — to their iOS and Android apps.
Sometimes regulation is a good thing: in this case, regulation is the mother of invention.
Let's see what the registration task force does next.
3DR Collaborates with AirMap, Announces First-Ever Integration of Drone Flight Safety Zone Software
3DR, North Americas largest drone manufacturer, has collaborated with AirMap to put accurate and automatically updated in-app flight safety zone information at the fingertips of all 3DR Solo users.
Berkeley, CA, November 16th, 2015 – Today 3DR announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with AirMap, a company that provides flight zone information for drone users and RC pilots around the world. 3DR will integrate AirMaps safety information software into its Solo smart drone app in anticipation of the coming holiday season. Its the first time that drone software has been able to directly deliver reliable safety information to users.
Weve made drones really easy to fly, said 3DR CEO and co-founder Chris Anderson. With Solo, for instance, we built software into the drone that made it automatic to get the kind of cinematic video you want. This dramatically reduced the amount of practice that used to be necessary back when drones were difficult to fly. Now, we want to make flying as safe as it is easy. Supplementing the Solo app with AirMaps robust and reliable real-time airspace information allows us to increase education with a seamless and enjoyable drone experience.
AirMap software continually pulls and compiles airspace information and displays the restricted, warning and informational areas on a map. If Solo users open their Solo app in a restricted area, theyll see a warning. Users can then tap the circle to bring up a map that displays any airspace information in the area, along with information about the type of restriction. This airspace information includes real-time Temporary Flight Restrictions that may be established in the areas around wildfires, major sporting events and other sensitive places.
The Solo app will contain basic airspace information: federal guidelines (e.g., five miles from an airport); national parks; airbases, etc.
Drones are a powerful, important and increasingly popular technology, and we want to make it easy for people to fly them safely, said Ben Marcus, co-founder and CEO of AirMap. We collaborate with industry leaders like 3DR to give drone users the information they need to make decisions about where to fly.
Though the effort is now getting off the ground, with future updates the Solo smart drone app will display more detailed and nuanced airspace information piped directly from AirMap. This will include state and local regulations in addition to federal rules.
To learn more about Solo and the Solo App, visit 3drobotics.com/solo.
To learn more about AirMap, visit www.airmap.io.
3DR is the smartest and most technologically advanced drone company in the world. As North Americas largest personal drone manufacturer, 3DR makes advanced and easy-to-use drone technology friendly to consumers and pros alike, including their flagship product, Solo, the worlds first smart drone. Led by New York Times best-selling author and former editor-in-chief of WIRED magazine Chris Anderson, 3DR creates technologies and professional tools specifically designed to make drone photography easy for beginners and pros alike. With a Series C round of V.C. funding led by Qualcomm, 3DR is the first company to fully integrate drone and smartphone technology. For more information on 3DR, please visit www.3drobotics.com/.
AirMap is the leading provider of airspace information and services for drones. AirMaps real-time services are available to manufacturers through an API and through an SDK for application developers. The founders of AirMap are among the worlds foremost experts on drone technology, aviation, and policy. The company believes that drones are changing the world in incredible ways, and that providing accurate airspace information empowers innovators to deliver valuable products and services to end users. AirMap is a Consumer Technology Association Innovation Award Winner, a member of the Small UAV Coalition, Dronecode Foundation, AUVSI, NASA Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) program, and serves on the FAAs UAS registration task force.
DJI Introduces New Geofencing System for its Drones
San Jose, California, November 17, 2015 – DJI, the world leader in drone technology, Tuesday announced a new geofencing system featuring continually updated airspace information.
Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) will provide DJI drone users with up-to-date guidance on locations where flight may be restricted by regulation or raise safety concerns. For the first time, drone operators will have, at the time of flight, access to live information on temporary flight restrictions due to forest fires, major stadium events, VIP travel, and other changing circumstances. The GEO system will also include for the first time restrictions around locations such as prisons, power plants and other sensitive areas where drone operations raise non-aviation security concerns.
The drone will by default not fly into or take off in, locations that raise safety or security concerns. However, in order to accommodate the vast variety of authorized applications, the new system will also allow users who have verified DJI accounts to temporarily unlock or self-authorize flights in some of those locations. The unlock function will not be available for sensitive national-security locations such as Washington, D.C. or other prohibited areas.
Unlocking will require a DJI user account verified with a credit card, debit card or mobile phone number. DJI will neither collect nor store this information, and the service will be free. The verified account, required only if and when a user chooses to fly in a location that might raise an aviation safety or security concern, provides a measure of accountability in the event that the flight is later investigated by authorities.
“DJI invented geofencing over two years ago and now continues its industry leadership by balancing enhanced safety with the flexibility of accountable self-authorization,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI’s Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs who led the development of the new system. “We believe this major upgrade to our geofencing system will do even more to help operators understand their local flight environment, and to make smart, educated decisions about when and where to fly their drones.”
“Our years of actual user experience have shown that in most instances, strict geofencing is the wrong approach for this technology, and instead we are helping operators make informed, accountable decisions,” Schulman added.
This new system will launch first in North America and Europe. Other regions will receive an update to airport data, but will continue to use the existing “No Fly Zone” geofencing system the company pioneered in 2013 until the new system is launched in each region.
GEO is powered by geospatial data from Santa Monica, California-based AirMap.
The new mapping system will become available in December via an update of the DJI Go app and drone firmware.
Read full article at DJI “DJI Introduces New Geofencing System for its Drones”
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)