The world’s largest commercial drone maker wants to make doubly sure that its unmanned aerial vehicles no longer fly in restricted airspace, where they’re not supposed to — like around the White House, over forest fires and into prison yards.
The company on Tuesday unveiled new “geofencing” software designed to better prevent operators from flying their drones into restricted airspace.
The software gives users up-to-date guidance on locations where flight may be restricted by regulation or raise safety concerns.
“For the first time, drone operators will have, at the time of flight, access to live information on temporary flight restrictions due to forest fires, major stadium events, VIP travel, and other changing circumstances,” DJI said in a press release. “The GEO system will also include for the first time restrictions around locations such as prisons, power plants and other sensitive areas where drone operations raise non-aviation security concerns.”
Under the new system, all drones sold by DJI will now by default not be able to fly in locations that raise safety or security concerns. Users with verified DJI accounts can temporarily turn off the feature, though unlocking won’t work in sensitive national security locations like Washington.
DJI said the new system will launch first in North America and Europe. The announcement comes as the FAA weighs how to best register drones and regulate their use.