Ford has indicated that the drone symposium of FAA during the current week had a strange interrogator. The auto-manufacturer has been working hard since last year with the agency in order to track-down UAVs. But, the automaker’s solution is more Lo-Fi as compared to the other proposal of drone-maker DJI to force airborne craft to broadcast their location and ID over the radio. Ford has indicated in a blog post that company needs drones to use their anti-collision lights to flash their ID number in the readable code. It will allow bystanders using their smart-phones to report mysterious or misbehaving UAVs. The company also pointed out that they used this method to reliably identify drones up to 80 feet away during testing.
Point to be noted that it shouldn’t be considered for all surveillance drones. It might be too close for drones endangering airports or driving paths. It is still unclear how quickly the app could identify fast-moving aircraft. Ford indicated in the white paper proposal that the supposed range can be extended up to 20 times using commonly-available DSLR lenses. Light-based identification has shown its own issues, but at least it might be an easier method in implementing and broadcasting using the radio. It is important that it will be an approach requiring industry standardization. It has been considered a potentially efficient and cheaper solution using equipment people already have, such as smart-phones. It would allow the consumers once again registering their drones with the FAA.