In order to foster better drone safety, it’s up to both regulators and ethical enterprises to take initiative. There are already a few viable solutions to the risks drones present, both from an aerial safety as well as a digital responsibility prospective.
In terms of aerial safety, there are tools that can provide better information about the drones populating the nearby airspace. Drone Radar is one such tool developed in Poland by Pawel Korzec (also GA pilot). The tool merges data from both manned airplanes as well as UAVs onto a single platform so that those monitoring the skies can see everything together. Drone Radar also allows drone operators to see in real time all of the drones that are flying in their area. The application has an intuitive color-code system (red, yellow, green) that shows UAV users how safe it is to fly. This is the kind of tool that could be easily implemented as an effective solution for drone safety on the enterprise scale.
Regarding legal data practices when it comes to drones, the EU drafted special guidelines that originated in a discussion between European aviation authorities and the data protection authority. It will be the responsibility of every drone operator to use UAVs according to these standards. As with the aerial collision problem, one of the French multinational companies is also working on developing a solution for users to not collect and store sensitive data unwittingly. It definitely has potential to be implemented on an enterprise scale in the future.
As UAV usage continues to expand, it’s going to become more and more important to continuously develop guidelines for the safe operation of drones. Perhaps even more important is for the operators of drones to follow established guidelines. By putting safety first, further organic development of creative and impactful ways drones can be used will be far more viable.