DJI is launching a new geofencing system to bring constant airspace information to its drones. The company announced Geospatial Environment Online (GEO), designed to provide DJI drone users with up-to-date guidance on where operators can fly their drones.
The system will provide information on where flights may be restricted, raise safety concerns, or find where there may be temporary flight restrictions due to forest fires, events, VIP travels or other changing circumstances.
"DJI invented geofencing over two years ago and now continues its industry leadership by balancing enhanced safety with the flexibility of accountable self-authorization," said Brendan Schulman, vice president of policy and legal affairs for DJI, who led the development of the new system. "We believe this major upgrade to our geofencing system will do even more to help operators understand their local flight environment, and to make smart, educated decisions about when and where to fly their drones."
With GEO, drones by default will not take off or be able to fly into “no-fly zones,” but operators will have the ability to temporarily unlock or self-authorize flights in some locations. In order to unlock flights, a user will have to provide a verified credit card, debit card or mobile phone number. DJI will not charge the drone operator, but rather provide a measure of accountability in the event the unlocked flight is investigated by authorities.
"Our years of actual user experience have shown that in most instances, strict geofencing is the wrong approach for this technology, and instead we are helping operators make informed, accountable decisions," Schulman said.
The system will be powered by AirMap, and initially launch in North America and Europe.