DJI’s response to Distant ID is optimistic

DJI’s response to Remote ID, the FAA regulation released on Monday, has been positive. The world’s largest drone maker says it will work towards compliance with the new regulations.

“DJI has a long history of supporting the FAA’s Remote ID initiative as it will improve the accountability, safety and protection of drones. The FAA’s deliberate process of reviewing over 50,000 public comments has resulted in a rule that serves the industry as a whole as operators move to more complex drone operations that save lives and benefit society. We are reviewing the final rule to understand how DJI can take steps to meet the FAA’s upcoming requirements. “

DJI’s response to Remote ID is influenced by the elimination of network requirements that have been criticized by many in the industry. DJI was early in the development of Remote ID technology with the introduction of DJI Aeroscope in 2017. In a March 2017 whitepaper entitled “What’s in a Name?” DJI advocated a “balanced solution,” a non-network-based, localized approach. The non-network approach would provide enough information for security reasons without jeopardizing the drone operators’ reasonable privacy concerns.

This localized approach is preferred over networked solutions, which raise a number of concerns. A network solution requires a network connection, usually through a cell phone. There are several locations that lack reliable data signals that would thwart the ID system and offer an excuse to a non-compliant operator. A connected solution also inherently increases the ability to have all UAS operations tracked and recorded for future unknown exploitations, including enforcement rates or business espionage. A networked system is also susceptible to system-wide hacking or the creation of false entries of drone operations by critics that do not exist.

Update the existing fleet

Drone operators have ample time to adhere to the rules: drone manufacturers have 18 months to adjust their manufacturing and pilots a year later to ensure their drones are compliant. However, drone manufacturers have a significant incentive to work on releasing compatible hardware as soon as possible, as this can influence purchase decisions. When DJI is able to update its existing products with a firmware update or some other simple solution, many drone operators take a sigh of relief.

Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has written over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing on the drone industry, email Miriam.

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