I’m sick of reading it. I think I’m perhaps more sick of writing it: “Remote ID is a key enablement technology for the future of the commercial drone industry.” It’s true, but I think it’s hard for a lot of people to really understand that Remote ID isn’t for the drone industry. It’s for everyone else. It’s our olive branch to those unfamiliar with how drones are lawfully authorized to operate.

Ultimately, the driving force behind public skepticism is uncertainty. As Flagstaff’s Daily Sun succinctly articulated about a resident’s fears about a drone flying over her house: “The drone flew away, but that did not make her any less concerned about the operator’s intentions. What if it was a pervert trying to take pictures down her shirt, she wondered, or a child molester looking for victims or a burglar staking out her home?”

Predators. Molesters. Perverts. Burglars. New technology can be scary and people can’t help but assume the worst. Remote ID is the drone industry’s chance to dispel these myths. To take the potential predator in the mind of a citizen and inform the public it’s someone looking for a lost love one or pet. That it’s an insurance adjuster avoiding having to climb on a roof. That it’s a local news team looking to get explanatory pictures of a dangerous intersection that keeps needlessly taking lives of the community.

The problem with the current state of Remote ID is some members of the industry having a divisive attitude towards implementation. One of the biggest disappointments I’ve seen in the drone industry is companies looking to compete on policy, not on product. Commercial aviation figured out long ago that safety should never be a key differentiator. A winner-take-all approach to Remote ID or any other safety technology is not going to promote adoption, not going to enable advanced operations any faster, and certainly not going to do the commercial drone industry any favors in the eyes of the public.

To us, the problem was one of education. We saw the need to help our customers as well as the public understand the current technology, its capabilities, and how we can work together as an industry to help bring it to fruition.

Towards this end, we thought it high time someone created a white paper to help understand the nuances of this enabling-technology.

Last December, together with Wing and other partners, we’ve demonstrated that Remote ID is possible today. It’s not a pipe dream, it’s not the stuff of legends. It’s ready and available to deploy today. It was only after the demonstration and an explanatory blog post that our customers began to see what was so exciting about this technology. So, we sat down and thought, “How can we bring that same level of enlightenment to the industry as a whole? How can we show everyone that a robust and easy to implement Remote ID solution is the way forward?”

We felt that if we could educate the community, we could start to unify people around common-sense solutions and a path forward. We started working on a white paper with the help of thought-leaders from every sector of our industry. The response was overwhelming. A simple to understand executive brief that was informative instead of salesy was clearly resonating not just with industry thought-leaders but also our enterprise customers. If you don’t live and breathe drones like we do here at Kittyhawk, you may not find time in your day to read and draw opinions from some arcane findings paper from standards committee you’ve never heard of or the latest research from folks in a lab who’ve never flown a drone in their life.

Ultimately, we hope this white paper provides an easy to understand executive brief on what’s possible if the drone industry collaborates instead of competes on standards, what the state of the art can offer us for capabilities, and how the sooner we can allay public fears using this new technology, the faster we can move forward into the future.

The team has spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort to research, interview and distill down a very complex topic into an easy to understand brief. We’re happy to hear your opinions, comments, and suggestions. And as always, if you’d like to collaborate with Kittyhawk on building the future, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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