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DJI upgrades geofencing systems, reducing risk of drone verses plane collisions

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The world’s most popular drone manufacturer has preempted tougher restrictions from the FAA and introduced a new geofencing system.

For those not in the know, geofencing uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to create virtual geographic boundaries that alert users when they, for example, fly their drone into a restricted area. Restricted zones include areas in close proximity to airports, helipads, military bases etc.

The new provider of the geofencing system is PrecisionHawk. Over the next few months, DJI will phase in Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) Version 2.0 .The changes will primarily affect the United States before gradually being rolled out across the world.

What does this mean for drone users?

If you have collision sensors active on your drone, you’ll notice that your drone will simply refuse to fly when in close proximity to certain objects. A geofencing system achieves something similar except the barriers that it will avoid are virtual. This means that your DJI software should not only show you the airport zone you should avoid but actively prevent you from flying your drone too close to the runway.

As the de facto face of the consumer drone industry, DJI surely wish to reduce the possibilities of more of their UAVs ending up in the flight path of an airplane. Were that to happen, governments might start to severely restrict drone usage and that would be super bad for DJI’s thriving business (the company’s estimated value stands at $15 billion as at 2018) . Idiots will always do dumb stuff but drone manufacturers have the ability to curtail stupid behavior through technology.

DJI owners will be used to seeing screens like this which display restricted drones when they take their drone out to fly.

DJI’s vice president of policy and legal affairs, Brendan Schulman said of the move: “This is an enormous step forward for safely integrating drones into the airspace based on a more finely-tuned evaluation of risks associated with aircraft approaching and departing different types of airports.”

If you are a DJI owner and get a chance to try out the PrecisionHawk system, let us know how you find it on our Facebook page.

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