One of the country’s leading manufacturer’s of drones/quadcopters might have just shown the way to break the logjam surrounding how the devices can be regulated in a safe manner.
It’s a testament to the power of technology following this week’s flight of a DJI drone onto the White House lawn by a drunken “pilot.”
DJI, the manufacturer, has announced it will provide a mandatory update to its operating system that will prevent the quadcopters from working in the Washington, DC area, where flights are already banned.
It could solve the question of whether quadcopter operators can ever be trusted to behave responsibility flying their devices in airspace shared by pilots, around airports, for example.
It said it will also “fence off” airspace around 10,000 airports around the country, which should — assuming the program works — eliminate the fear that the quadcopters will crash into planes big and small.
“We are pushing this out a bit earlier to lead in encouraging responsible flight,” DJI spokesperson Michael Perry tells Time.com. “With the unmanned aerial systems community growing on a daily basis, we feel it is important to provide pilots additional tools to help them fly safely and responsibly.”
NextWeb.com says the new operating system will also prevent the quadcopters from cross national borders, which should eliminate their use as drug runners.
There’s one loophole, however. DJI still gives customers the option of disabling GPS guidance on the quadcopters.