Unmanned aerial vehicles have gone from attacking (in the old military days) to preventing. In Ensenada, Mexico, one particular drone has managed to reduce crime significantly, lowering the number of robberies in the area with 30% in the past months!
Authorities in Ensenada, Mexico, admit they have sent a DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter in 25 missions a day (covering a total of 1,600) as a response to 911 calls. During that period, they noticed a 10% drop in crime, with 30% fewer home robberies. Moreover, the drone helped make 500 arrests, turning the city in a safer place.
Thanks to software developed by California-based Cape, much of the flying process of the drone was automated, leaving officers only to check the live stream from their office or from wherever they might have been on the field.
The extra pair of eyes makes all the difference, said Cape CEO Chris Rittler for Wired: “Thieves have a clock in their head, from when they break a window to when the police arrive. What the drone has done is dramatically decrease that time window.”
Cape is one of the few companies cleared by the FAA to use UAVs for good. The company is working with San Diego authorities and the local police department on an emergency response project.
Drones going rogue is still a possibility, mind you. The fact that these vehicles can fly almost anywhere and capture footage without being seen can be an irresistible feature for espionage groups. Plus, the military will always take advantage of the leverage such vehicles can give them over their enemies. Let’s just hope software firms will remember the Project Maven debacle and not give in.