The official drone tasked to capture the latest happenings and events at Time Square’s annual New Year bash was a bit… under the weather. While the masses were excited to witness the celebrations, safety and security still needed to be upheld. The New York Police Department (NYPD) boasted of using a new feature for their security – a drone. The drone was to be their eyes during all the commotion, when a simple patrol on the ground cannot simply cut it. An eye in the sky would be a great upgrade from a security standpoint, as you can see farther and wider.
Time Square Drone Dilemma
Yet, as the clock hit midnight, the drone was nowhere to be seen. According to the NYPD, the plan was scrapped because of poor weather conditions. This meant that the drone posed more of a risk than an asset, and may even cause damage itself. This led to utilizing methods that are more traditional to watch over the crowd and maintain order. Using security guards, officers, and volunteers, the ball dropped at Times Square without a hitch.
Not only will the drone have a difficult time navigating through the windy and rainy skies, it also may have diminished visibility. Its vision is its prime asset, and with weather conditions that create poor visuals, a drone may as well not fly at all. Another issue was that since it was difficult to see, a drone could easily bump into obstacles while flying. These may include buildings, birds, or even the decorations and fireworks themselves.
This incident just shows that we cannot rely on a drone completely just yet. Weather conditions can dictate whether a drone can fly or not. Poor visuals can also impede a drone’s job, and must resort to manual tasks for the workers involved.
What is next for security drones?