Heading to the Golden State Warriors parade on Thursday in Oakland in hopes of getting an incredible aerial view with your drone?
Don’t even try.
Drone security company Dedrone will be using its software to prevent drones from flying during the event, though the company would not disclose exactly where or during what hours.
Dedrone has developed software that can detect drones in the vicinity before they even take off, and its software is already being used in a few prisons and for events, including during the 2016 presidential debate at Hofstra University.
“Proactive drone detection must be a part of event safety planning, especially as drones are becoming the monitoring and filming device of choice for events around the world,” said Sebastian Blum, VP of Business Development at Dedrone.
Dedrone uses sensors, including RF/WiFi scanners, microphones and cameras to collect data and determine whether or not a drone is in a certain area, as well as analyze its flight path and the type of drone.
Drones that can be purchased for a few hundred dollars have been increasingly causing problems at major events. They have crashed into cyclists during races, and in 2015, a DJI Phantom drone crashed near the White House. Just last month, a drone crashed during a Padres game at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. And in an event much like Thursday’s anticipated Warriors parade, a drone crashed into a woman, knocking her unconscious during Seattle’s 2015 Pride Parade. The drone operator was found guilty of reckless endangerment.
“It’s not just spectators and athletes that the Warriors security team is protecting,” Blum said. “Cities who host events near major buildings, have other risks involved. Landowners, tenants, building managers, and offices may be enjoying the view of a parade from their home, and be in the line of sight of a drone, without their consent to film. ”
It is worth noting that it is legal to photograph private property and private citizens from public space, and the operator does not legally need consent to film unless that person’s image is used for commercial purposes.
There are a variety of drone security companies beyond just Dedrone. DroneShield, for instance, sells a Dronegun, which is a jammer that can disrupt a drone’s remote control, forcing it to land or return to its starting point. In some European countries there are companies training eagles to take down drones midair.
So what happens if a drone operator gets “caught” during Thursday’s Warriors parade?
“Generally, security personnel will have the pilot ground their flight, and cease their operation,” Blum said. “If there’s legal protection around the flight area, such as when we worked with Hofstra University and UNLV at the 2016 presidential debates, or if damage is inflicted by the drone to a person or property, there may be legal recourse.”
Thursday’s Warriors parade will start at 10 a.m. PT at Broadway and 11th Street in Oakland, wind through downtown streets and end with a procession to the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center.