DJI is out to save us from ourselves. Flying a drone in a restricted area or no-go zone? You’ll owe Uncle Sam one hefty fine, or you’re one hell of a smooth talker. Bet on the fine.
The company’s Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) software is getting a new update today that makes it even more useful for new and experienced pilots. With a new GO app update, DJI is allowing access to the geofencing capability to keep you from straying into areas that are no-fly zones such as airports, power plants and prisons.
It announced in January that it would give verified users the ability to unlock certain no-go zones to proceed with inspections or if the pilot has special permission. National security areas will remain locked, so don’t bother packing the Phantom for a trip to DC. “Safety is DJI’s top priority, which is why we first introduced geofencing technology three years ago and have been steadily refining the industry’s best technology to enhance aviation safety,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs, who led the development of the new system. “Drone pilots want to fly safely, and our GEO system helps DJI customers fly responsibly while also enabling the full capabilities of remotely piloted aircraft.”
In addition to the geofencing, the update also updates temporary flight restrictions in real time. It will enable firefighters to battle blazes without fears of drones hitting the skies and interfering with aircraft deployed against wildfires. While the footage is tempting, it’s dangerous for all parties involved. It limits the firefighters capability to battle wildfires effectively, and it places the pilot in danger of shifting winds.
The new GEO system is out today on iOS and Android. If you have auto-updates turned on, you should already see the new version. Both the controller and the drone will need a firmware update to take advantage of the new system. Yeah, that’s a bit of a downer, but it’s a quick update for peace of mind.
DJI’s GEO feature is available on all Inspire models, the Phantom 4, Phantom 3 Pro and the Phantom 3 Advanced.