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DfT drones fly out of sight

drone standard image 2by3

Drones used by the Department for Transport (DfT) can now be operated beyond visual lines of sight.

Flying a drone 12km away from its pilot, SenSat has broken the distance a drone can operate becoming the first drone operator to send its product out of sight.

SenSat was chosen by the DfT as the UK Government’s Pathfinder partner. It approved the company to fly drones 12km away from a pilot, up from the current maximum distance allowed of 500m.

SenSat’s drone technology has already been used on multiple infrastructure projects, including mapping out the entirety of the High Speed 2 (HS2) route.

PwC recently reported that the net impact of drones will be £42bn to the UK economy by 2030 and a net cost savings of £16bn from the uptake of drone technologies.

Highways England has recently introduced a similar use of mapping drones and has been working closely with SenSat over the past year to generate the first high resolution digital models of UK highways. 

It has also been mooted that drones could be used to carry out maintenance works in the future such as pot hole repairs. 

SenSat chief executive James Dean believes that the benefits of having a digitally mapped copy of the world are essential to speeding up plans and improving accuracy

“Having a digital copy of the world around us is incredibly useful,” he says. “It allows us to measure quicker, calculate more accurately and plan in ways that were simply not possible even two years ago.”

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