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News18 » Tech
2-min read

Intel Foresees a Future of Drone Traffic Jams, And Has Tech to Prevent Them From Colliding

The new tech is now currently under testing at the Drone Integration Pilot Program (IPP) in the US.

Vishal Mathur | News18.com@vishalmathur85

Updated:August 17, 2018, 9:04 AM IST
Intel Foresees a Future of Drone Traffic Jams, And Has Tech to Prevent Them From Colliding
The new tech is now currently under testing at the Drone Integration Pilot Program (IPP) in the US.

As consumers, our interaction with Bluetooth as a technology is perhaps limited to getting one device to connect with the other, and stay connected—for instance, a keyboard with a PC or a wireless headphone with a smartphone. But that very capable technology does a lot more too. Intel, well known for making the processors that power perhaps most of the computing devices that you use, has an Open Drone ID project in the works which is developing a Bluetooth standard which will prevent drones from colliding while they are flying.

The way the Open Drone ID project is supposed to work is that each of these flying machines will broadcast their exact location coordinates, which will be received by other drones so that they can avoid the route. The communication will be constant and two way. “The information (messages) sent is divided into static and dynamic data where the static data is broadcast less frequently than dynamic data. These messages are “connectionless advertisements” that do not require any acknowledgement from the receiver,” says the Open Drone ID project description. Each drone will have its own unique ID status, and will broadcast its present position constantly, the location of the person operating it or the phone it is connected with, the direction it is supposed to go in if that information is prefilled and more. However, the drone to drone communication will not involve any personal data of the user or the owner of the drone being shared.

Apart from saving two drones from colliding mid-air, the Intel Open Drone ID technology can also be very handy in tracking drones, which can be considered unmanned aerial systems (UAS), as classified by the United States Department of Defense.

The Drone Integration Pilot Program (IPP) announced by the Trump administration is getting underway, and includes 10 drone test projects in the US to advance the use of drones. “Intel is a participant in four of the 10 sites and may participate in operations in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant, Oklahoma; the city of San Diego; the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, Herndon, Virginia; and the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority in Tennessee,” says Intel in an official statement.

One of the operations would involve night missions using a thermal sensor on the Intel Falcon 8+ drone. “This application could be used to look for lost cattle, as well as learn more about the habits and tendencies of local wildlife,” says Intel in an official statement.

But why Bluetooth? The simplicity and low costs are the biggest drivers. While Bluetooth 4.2 has a range limit of 200-300m, Bluetooth 5 standard has a long range can go as far as 4 times the distance of Bluetooth 4.2’s range. The Open Drone ID specification will require a drone to implement both standards, specifically using the Bluetooth 5 hardware installed on the drone. This way, a variety of other devices in the chain, such as smartphones and receivers can be compatible.

Intel can clearly see a future where drones will fill our skies and the chances of them colliding and dropping earthwards are quite high.

Also read: Your Smartphone May be Driving You Blind

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