A Canadian police force is unleashing a homegrown drone to map traffic accidents and cut down on delays. The York (Ont.) Regional police purchased a Canadian-made Aeryon SkyRanger in July and announced this week the drone would be sent into action soon.
“[The York] Traffic Bureau Reconstruction Team is currently implementing a high-tech drone mapping system that should reduce police highway closures from 6-8 hours down to just two hours total,” a police news release states.
“With the assistance of the UAV to capture high-resolution aerial images of a collision scene, it is anticipated that when deployed, road-closure time will be reduced significantly.
Aeryon is fast becoming a leader in public-safety drone tech. In 2014, the company announced that the Michigan State Police had agreed to standardize its statewide drone deployment with Aeryon’s SkyRanger quadcopter models.
In October, Microsoft announced inclusion of SkyRanger in its Advanced Patrol Platform car for use by law enforcement.
“There will be an unmanned aircraft of some type in every police car, in every fire truck, at least in the country,” Aeryon representative Donald Shinnamon said. “The applications for public safety are tremendous,” he added.
During a recent workshop, Aeryon taught local police and fire departments the basics of drone deployment in Ohio.
The British National Police Chiefs’ Council completed a trial with SkyRangers last month in Surrey and Sussex. “You could send up the drone and use the video link before making a decision how to proceed,” Steve Barry of the NPCC said.
The York Police drone is handled by two trained operators using a tablet computer. All operators must be licensed through Transport Canada, and, although York Regional Police have three operators, they plan to train more.
The Sky Ranger will be powered by four different batteries, each lasting for 50 minutes of flight time. The drone can withstand winds up to 90km/h and temperatures from -30C to 50C, police said on their Twitter account.
“The UAV is a welcome addition to our investigative tool box,” said York Police Chief Eric Jolliffe.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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