DJI Remote ID : A Wireless License Plate for Your Drone

November 30th, 2019
DJI Remote ID : A Wireless License Plate for Your Drone

Have you ever looked up in the sky, seen a drone flying past, and wondered what it was up to? Soon with Remote ID, there will be a simple way to find out. 

DJI drone with license plate - soon remote ID will be like a digital license plate

So What is Remote ID?

It should come as no surprise that as drone technology continues to become more powerful and more popular, governments and industries would want to have a more detailed picture of what is moving in the airspace around them. DJI has previously developed AeroScope, an infrastructure solution that scans for controller-to-drone connections. Aeroscope is important, but requires custom hardware and is generally intended for prisons, airports, and the like. So ASTM, a global forum that helps develop standards, stepped in to help broaden the toolkit. They worked with companies and governments for the past 18 months, and the new standard is in. The answer is “Drone-to-Phone” communication. DJI demonstrated it at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Drone Enable conference.

Mavic Mini – Image credit: cinema5D

How does it work?

Remote ID runs off of Wi-Fi Aware, a protocol that allows devices to exchange limited information over wifi, without having to first form a secure two-way connection. Your phone can discover an object and request simple information from it directly. This can be used to send documents to printers, play mobile games together, or now identify drones like the DJI Mavic Mini or Mavic 2 Pro.

Before you start to worry, drone owners, there is no new hardware. This utilizes the same wifi connection your drone already uses to communicate with its controller. There’s no need for towers, no need for cell signal or GPS, no hardware upgrades, and so no major imposition on you. While there is a myriad of communication technologies today that could have been put into play, ASTM decided to keep it real simple. That’s a bonus for operators, but also for developing countries and remote areas with limited infrastructure. The drone does all the talking, without the help of anyone or anything else, up to about 1km. It’s too early to know whether this will have a meaningful impact on battery life or flight time.

When?

There is no download link at the end of this article because the firmware updates don’t exist yet. Neither does an app that can detect and report on nearby drones. DJI successfully demonstrated that the technology works, but they are holding back on public release “pending further direction from aviation regulators and final publication of the ASTM International standard.” But the FAA in America has made it very clear that this is a need, and has encouraged development and adoption as it finalizes its rules over the next year or so. So keep your eyes peeled – this update is coming sooner rather than later.

What do you think of this update? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

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Garrison SmithHover-flyCsaba LandiJeff Denowhvisionrouge Recent comment authors
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 Csaba Landi
Csaba Landi
MemberDecember 1st, 2019

As a drone owner I am not happy about this.

BOUNCE
MemberDecember 1st, 2019

Why?

Jeff Denowh
Jeff Denowh
GuestDecember 2nd, 2019

If the app gives my actuall location.. and I am doing a completely legal flight.. I could end up with people uneducated about drones, but scared with misinformation, confront me while I have a drone in the sky.

 Csaba Landi
Csaba Landi
MemberDecember 2nd, 2019

If it would be only accessible for the government it would be ok. But knowing that anyone can monitor my flight and location is not great.

 Dan Brockett
Dan Brockett
MemberDecember 1st, 2019

I’ve been sorely missing more state and federal oversight about every single aspect of my life, gee, this is great. Thank you DJI for inventing new ways to invite Big Brother to endlessly monitor me. I wonder if this info will be merged with the NSA monitoring and observation that every single American is subject to? Why not, add it to the metadata pile, that way if I ever get out of line, the government will easily be able to prod me back into their line.

I am going to sell my drone. Like everything else in our lives, something fun and enjoyable is becoming so regulated, monitored and observed, why put up with the hassle of the government knowing every single thing that you do?

 Csaba Landi
Csaba Landi
MemberDecember 2nd, 2019

Build an fpv drone. Huge learning curve and it doesn’t even have gps or self leveling. Just fun

visionrouge.net
visionrouge.net
MemberDecember 2nd, 2019

I’m not sure why such tools needed to be designed and offered to the public.
But overall, it’s a good way to see what DJI or you Gov can see from your flight.
.
Right now, all your data are shared with Chinese Government as DJI server are all based in China and such server are, by law, accessible without warrant by any request coming from the CCP.
This is not new at all and it’s clearly stated on DJI privacy policy.
The fact that few of your flight information are now shared with everyone is a big warning for privacy. Still, it’s a really tiny piece compare to what DJI collect.

Hover-fly
Hover-fly
GuestDecember 2nd, 2019

Since this technology not only IDs the aircraft but also shows the location of the operator it is an excellent way to facilitate and enable the new sport of dronestalking. Many fliers will have not only expensive drone but additional camera kit while out and about. Expect dronejacking incidents to become commonplace.

Garrison Smith
Garrison Smith
GuestJanuary 3rd, 2020

Well. The government is here to help again. Once the government gets involved it’s going to screw everything up. We already have systems in place to prevent us from flying in NFZ’s. We don’t need BIG BROTHER stepping in monitoring our business. Most drone pilots self police themselves. Those that don’t will continue to not be safe. Deregulation is taking place in industry and we sure don’t need it for recreational pilots or even businesses.

Garrison Smith
Garrison Smith
GuestJanuary 3rd, 2020

When this goes into effect, I’m done flying drones.

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