When it comes to the safety and ethics of commercial drone use, there seems to be a lot of contention out there, especially from the general public. We’re here to break down and bust a few myths surrounding these issues while also discussing the safety advantages of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
CURRENT PERCEIVED SAFETY CONCERNS OF UAVS
One of the biggest issues facing commercial and industrial drone use, is the issue of privacy. UAVs carry cameras and many civilians are not happy with drones capturing footage of them and, especially, their children. Depending on where drones are performing work, it is also possible for them to fly over private property, which raises concerns. Now that drones are more silent than ever, this is an increasing problem and one that is problematic to solve since there are no laws around airspace above private property or capturing the faces of dozens of people during an inspection.
People are also often being thrown an abundance of news articles about how dangerous drones can be, and the abundance of these incidents is often exaggerated. They see stories about software malfunctions injuring civilians and pilots, as well as crash landings in nature reserves. While teams are constantly working on preventing these kinds of incidents, drone impact on the environment does have the potential to become problematic. Pieces of plastic could lie around to be ingested by animals and pollute the ecosystem. Many animals, especially eagles, are also injured by UAVs as they confusedly hunt and attack them.
THE SAFETY ADVANTAGES OF UAVS
While the above concerns are valid, there is still a lot to celebrate in terms of the safety that drones can offer us, both now and in the future. With our Virtuscan and Virtuplan services launching soon, we wanted to share and celebrate those so that everyone is encouraged to move towards and support even more positive safety advancements.
1. Drones can help to maintain safety
Since they are remote controlled, UAVs can be used to effectively survey areas and communicate potential risks without putting human lives in the way. They are used widely in the military for exactly this purpose, but also in other locations such as oil and gas refineries, construction sites, environmental disaster zones and more. This real-time monitoring and high resolution footage allows us to make quick decisions in times of danger to keep people safe. This being done via drone also prevents employees and inspectors from having to personally go to hazardous areas or climb at height in dangerous weather, for example.
2. They allow safer farming practices
Because their positioning is so precise and the quality of the images they produce is so good, drones can make farming practices much safer for our environment, and us by extension! Where pesticides need to be used, drones can ensure that the spraying thereof is precise and doesn’t disturb surrounding ecosystems. They can also be used to quickly and easily identify weeds, monitor irrigation, analyse the soil, and determine the threat of any health risks early on. We have already lost a lot of our indigenous ecosystems to farming, and many farming tools and vehicles pump fossil fuels into the atmosphere unnecessarily, especially in terms of inspection for maintenance. UAVs can help us a lot here.
3. They make a good addition to security systems
Whether it’s for large events, private or public property or protected environmental areas, drones are small and fast, and properly trained pilots are able to conduct their job with advanced drones which are far more accessible these days. Not only are they able to monitor large areas for security threats more efficiently and safely, what they capture is of excellent quality, and an array of different cameras, such as thermal vision and detectors, can be used in comparison to most static security cameras.
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