Maybe drone makers can ease some of the pressure on themselves by building limits on their own machines.
DJI, a Chinese company that makes more small-scale drones than anyone else, announced on Tuesday a new, so-called geofencing system, which is a way to better control what a drone is flying over.
The system, built on flying restrictions DJI first introduced in 2013, promises continually updated information on a machine’s airspace. Information on something like an airport is already in the system; this might add something like a request by emergency personnel not to fly over a forest fire.
“This is an example of the technology empowering operators to make smart decisions,” said Brendan Schulman, vice president of policy and legal affairs at DJI. “It’s an example of how technology solutions can address concerns.”
What action to take is often up to drone’s pilot, though it is clear that freedom of the skies faces increasing limits. The system has built-in restrictions around sensitive locations such as prisons and power plants, where potential payloads, not the flying itself, are a concern.