Voluntary Flight Identification Options For Drone Pilots
Back in September DJI launched DJI AeroScope, a solution that assists in identifying and tracking airborne drones with existing technology. AeroScope was developed by DJI in order to balance the legitimate needs of authorities against the privacy rights of drone pilots. DJI drones locally broadcast their location, speed, heading and serial numbers to AeroScope receivers used by authorities at sensitive locations or in response to complaints.
Now DJI is introducing features that pretty much function like an “electronic license plate” for drones. This new feature allows drone pilots to voluntarily identify their flight operations to authorities while still protecting their privacy.
Because AeroScope relies on drones directly broadcasting their information to local receivers, not on transmitting data to an internet-based service, it ensures most drone flights will not be automatically recorded in government databases, protecting the privacy interests of people and businesses that use drones. This approach also avoids substantial costs and complexities that would be involved in creating such databases and connecting drones to network systems.
DJI is working to expand the broadcast protocol for other drone manufacturers.
Governments around the world have expressed interest in requiring mandatory tracking and identification of drones. DJI has led the drone industry in arguing against proposals to require all drone flights to be tracked and recorded in government databases, many of which would require drones to be modified with special equipment that would add weight to drones, drain battery life and impose costs on drone pilots.
Recent updates to the DJI GO 4 app and DJI drone firmware, made available first for the DJI Mavic Pro last week, will allow pilots to choose whether or not to broadcast additional information about their flight operations, if they believe it will be helpful to ease any concerns about their flights. Professional pilots and pilots who fly near sensitive locations may choose to do this routinely.
Once updated, the DJI GO 4 app will display a “remote identification” menu in the main controller settings. This menu gives pilots the option to broadcast their “UUID,” a unique user identification code tied to each pilot’s DJI GO account, and “Identification & Flight Information,” if a pilot chooses to enter information into them. The default setting for both options is to not broadcast them, and these settings can be changed at any time.
For additional information, please visit DJI’s Website.