By Hillary Grigonis
Organizations around the world have conducted studies on the potential dangers of flying unpiloted aircraft — but what about their life-saving capabilities? On March 14, DJI released a study based on news reports indicating that drones have saved at least 59 lives. With 38 of those rescues occurring between May 2016 and February 2017, that number averages almost one life per week. And drone use for life-saving purposes is only increasing.
Search and rescue teams are quickly adopting imaging drones to act as eyes in the sky — and the Red Cross will even soon have its own drone-launching Land Rover. Meanwhile, DJI’s report has an unexpected statistic. One third of those rescues were not from rescue teams, but from volunteers operating their own consumer drones, suggesting that even hobbyist drones are making a positive impact.