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Fleetlights: Will Drones Soon Light Up Our Parks and Gardens?

A British insurance company sends out drones to illuminate dark areas.

In the last couple of years, flying drones – or unmanned aerial vehicles – have been improved and more advanced. Apart from military uses, they serve as free floating cameras, delivery tools, rescue helpers, racing vehicles and monitoring devices for wildlife sanctuaries.

The ability of drones to be remotely controlled by a simple smartphone app makes many functions possible. The UK insurer Direct Line now came up with the idea to equip drones with lights in order to accompany pedestrians on their way at night through dark and unsafe areas. Parks are often regarded unsafe after sun sets. Could illuminating drones be a solution to make the green lungs of the cities safer and more accessible?

The Fleetlight project consists of a fleet of drones that are responsive to an individual’s movements and controlled via an app. This means that anyone within the area can order a drone via smartphone, which would then accompany the person and light the way ahead. Requesting a Fleetlight is said to be as simple and intuitive as ordering a taxi and communication can be made in real-time between the drone controls and the smartphone.

Parks and large garden areas could benefit from a technology like this. Joggers, bicyclists, dog owners, there are many people who could go out more often after dark without being afraid or getting lost.

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