Drone Manufacturer DJI has outlined a new regulatory approach to ensure "the safe growth of drone traffic." The white paper proposes a traffic control approach that does not rely on centralized control methods in order to establish flight paths and evade other vehicles, and instead makes full use of on-board anti-collision technologies (referred to as OATs) in order to do so. The advantage of such regulation would mean that these systems would be smarter, involving communication between drones through obstacle sensing systems and radio transmitters.
The white paper envisions "a future in which drones will be smart enough to navigate safely through the airspace, avoiding obstacles, each other, and manned traffic, all on their own, in most locations." Furthermore, drone-to-drone traffic management systems would present "fewer points of failure," and can be "deployed with no required investment in ground-based infrastructure."
DJI Director of Technical Standards Walter Stockwell explained that "DJI believes industry and government can address [safety] challenges with equipment available today, and without requiring every drone flight to be permanently recorded in a government database."
In addition, DJI updated its March white paper on electronic communication frameworks for small drones. The company stated that authorities should "use local sensors" to obtain information such as registration number, speed and direction from drones that approach sensitive areas, as opposed to all drones being forced to transmit such information to a central server over wireless networks, which Stockwell deemed "an Orwellian model" that "no other technology is subject to." He went on to emphasize that "the primary method for remote identification should be on a way… to report an identifier number to the authorities," allowing them to investigate while protecting operator privacy.
The company has disclosed that it has finished developing a "working system that operates on these principles" that detects radio signals transmitted by drones and is able to display them on a screen to allow authorities to view registration numbers and monitor drone activity. This system has been deployed at two international airports since April of this year for testing and evaluation.