Yesterday, DJI announced that it will be installing airplane and helicopter detectors in its new consumer drones. Models released after January 1, 2020 that weight more than 250 grams (about half a pound) will come with AirSense technology, which receives ADS-B signals from nearby airplanes and helicopters, to provide alerts to drone users about imminent collisions. AirSense can detect aircraft from miles away and displays their locations on the drone's remote controller screen.
Check out this video to learn how AirSense works:
The company has even laid out a 10-point safety plan for other drone manufacturers and government officials around the world:
DJI’s AirSense commitment is the first of 10 points in “Elevating Safety,” its new plan for how DJI, other drone manufacturers, and government officials around the world can maintain drones’ admirable safety record. The 10 points are:
- DJI will install ADS-B receivers in all new drones above 250 grams
- DJI will develop a new automatic warning for drone pilots flying at extended distances
- DJI will establish an internal Safety Standards Group to meet regulatory and customer expectations
- Aviation industry groups must develop standards for reporting drone incidents
- All drone manufacturers should install geofencing and remote identification
- Governments must require remote identification
- Governments must require a user-friendly knowledge test for new drone pilots
- Governments must clearly designate sensitive restriction areas
- Local authorities must be allowed to respond to drone threats that are clear and serious
- Governments must increase enforcement of laws against unsafe drone operation
DJI has definitely made its commitment to aviation and drone safety known. It was the first company to offer safety features like geofencing, automatic altitude limits, and return-to-home technology, and now that it has committed to including AirSense on consumer drones, piloting drones has become a lot safer for those on the ground and in the sky, especially since that technology was only available on select professional DJI drones.
Now that's coming to consumer-grade models, increased drone safety is something that will be available to professionals and hobbyists alike in 2020.