Police Drone Crash Raises Concerns Over Unmanned Aircrafts [VIDEO]
A police drone made to look like a mini-helicopter crashed into an armored SWAT vehicle after its test flight in Montgomery County, Texas, near Houston. The crash occurred last fall and was revealed on Friday by police officials and Vanguard Defense Industries, who made the drone. This crash adds fuels to the controversy of unmanned aerial vehicles in public spaces.
The drone crashed 18 feet to the earth and slammed into the SWAT vehicle dubbed Bearcat. No one was hurt and the $300,000 drone only had a few scratches.
The Examiner reported that the incident was basically a police-only photo op that went wrong when the drone stopped communicating with the console on the ground. The drone operated similarly to the one in the video above. The Montgomery incident was not caught on camera as far as we know.
The website reported, “Vanguard CEO Michael Buscher said his company’s prototype drone was flying about 18-feet off the ground when it lost contact with the controller’s console on the ground. It’s designed to go into an auto shutdown mode, according to Buscher, but when it was coming down the drone crashed into the SWAT team’s armored vehicle.”
Montgomery County Police was the first department in the U.S. to get to receive its own aerial drone. Could this crash cause law makers to be reluctant to fund the pricy and precarious drones in the future?
Drones raise issues of privacy as well as safety for citizens on the ground.
Organizations, like the ACLU, have been digging into the government’s plans to operate unmanned aircrafts. The organization says these vehicles are capable of spying on American civilians and regulations should be established to prevent this possibility. Law makers better jump to it, since the President signed a reauthorization bill in mid-February opening the gateway for “integrated commercial and civil use of unmanned aerial drones in U.S. airspace.”
Drone aircrafts also gobble-up bandwidth needed to relay information. As far as safety goes, unmanned aircrafts are still a work-in-progress and are able to be affected by human error.
What’s your take on this? Do you support the development of unmanned aircrafts? How about the government’s use of such aircrafts? Tell us in the comments.