DJI drones to come with plane detection

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Drone-maker DJI has pledged to add plane and helicopter "detection" features to its consumer drones, to reduce the risk of collisions.

DJI's new drones will use this ADS-B detector, which it has branded as "AirSense", to alert pilots when a plane or helicopter is nearby. The company announced its intention to offer this technology on Wednesday, stating that it will be available on all drones that weigh more than 250 grams released after January 1, 2020. These devices receive sensors that can receive Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B).

DJI stressed that "there has never been a confirmed collision between a drone and an airplane" but said drones had struck low-flying helicopters "at least twice". It will not automatically cause the drone to move away from the aircraft but will prompt the drone pilot to do so.

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What do you think of DJI AirSense? The technology-which DJI calls AirSense-is able to detect aircraft that are miles away, and it shows drone pilots on their controls where the aeroplane or helicopter is on a map. "DJI's safety policy is beyond what we have been urging the FAA and other drone manufacturers to require for multiple years".

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 Federal Aviation Administration isn't mandating ADS-B on drones, but DJI already has the tech installed on some of the company's more professional offerings, like the Matrice 200 and Mavic 2 Enterprise. These rules, in part, are created to protect individuals from potentially catastrophic collisions between drones and helicopters. "Providing users with better situational awareness of nearby air traffic will only increase safety in the national airspace, particularly around airports where these measures are needed most".

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