BIRDI was invited to speak at the International Institute of Communications Australia Telecommunications and Media 2018 Sydney Forum. Sebastian Robertson, BIRDI's CEO, was asked to speak alongside Microsoft's Clayton Noble, the University of Technology Sydney's Michelle Zeibots and the CSIRO's Data61's Toby Walsh on 'Autopilot - AI, Transport and Risk Management'.
Sebastian highlighted BIRDI's drone management platform, developed to help businesses integrate drone technology into their operations, which essentially means assisting businesses to capture data in a safe, reliable and compliant way. While there is a lot of regulation that potentially applies to drone flying, regulators have moved quickly in consultation with the industry to adjust those rules. One of the challenges is that consumer and business use of drones are both subject to same Civil Aviation rules and this makes it difficult to police. In business, drones reduce risk, for example, by eliminating the need to place workers in dangerous places from which they could fall. Drones are used especially by insurance companies that need to assess damage from natural disasters, but this is a booming industry with great opportunities for the future.
In the drone industry, privacy is particularly difficult because drones are so much more accessible than other aerial view devices, like helicopters. When flying is compliant with regulations, there are no privacy infringements, but often people need to know more about the data drones are collecting, and adjust their perception accordingly.
Often we can protect people’s privacy by embedding the way that data is collected in a way that makes individuals impossible to recognise, while preserving the features we need to know about.