As drone users think of new ways to deploy drones, there is a requirement to use them beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and autonomously.
However, humans are still needed to conduct behind-the-scenes activities, said software and aircraft designer Fixar drones sales manager Ronald Schultz.
Speaking at the Drones and Unmanned Aviation conference on May 12, he noted that although some may think that humans are not needed to conduct autonomous drone flights, the opposite is true, as humans are still needed to conduct activities such as flight planning, flight monitoring and intervening if something goes wrong.
Using drones in a BVLOS manner especially, can help customers decrease costs of certain tasks, improve safety and speed.
Currently, Schultz said, about 50% of global drone use has a degree of autonomy, but BVLOS operation of drones was still a “very sensitive topic” in many regions.
A major issue around BVLOS is integrating drones with unmanned air traffic management (UTM) systems.
However, he said Fixar has integrated drones with UTM systems, proving to be easier than what was first envisioned.
A UTM is a central command system that can authorise or deny drone flights, taking into account several safety and logistical factors.