In these early days of the drone craze, automated geofencing systems have been put in place by manufacturers including 3D Robotics, DJI, and Yuneec to curb reckless flying.
In the most basic sense, geofencing can prevent a drone from taking
off or entering restricted airspace based on its GPS coordinates. Geofencing is appealing because recent history shows drone pilots can’t be trusted to stay out of trouble. Drones have interfered with
firefighting operations, been spotted by airline pilots around airports, and even crash-landed on the White House lawn. (That last one led to a blanket ban on flying drones in the nation’s capital.)
While it’s understandable that drone manufacturers and regulators want to err on the side of caution in terms of safety, these early geofencing systems are prone to errors and confusion. “These things aren’t necessarily bad, because the market isn’t mature at this point,” says Gartner research director Brian Blau. “The devices are only in their infancy, and we’re confident that over the years, some of these
issues are going to get worked out—specifically around no-fly zones.”
An in-depth look at geofencing technology.