Sometimes we look on the USA from the outside and wonder - are you guys nuts? Why should you want to live with drones buzzing around? Or not buzzing, which seems worse.
The Federal Aviation Administration has received about 80 requests, including some from police and other government agencies, for clearance to fly drones, according to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which seeks to limit their use for police surveillance.
Law enforcement authorities say drones can be a cost-effective technology to help with a host of policing efforts, like locating bombs, finding lost children, monitoring weather and wildlife or assisting rescue workers in natural disasters.
“In this time of austerity, we are always looking for sensible and cost-effective methods to improve public safety,” said Capt. Tom Madigan of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. “We are not looking at military-grade Predator drones. They are not armed.”
For now, drones for civilian use run on relatively small batteries and fly short distances. In principle, various sensors, including cameras, can be attached to them. But there is no consensus in law on how the data collected can be used, shared or stored.
I also learned about dashcams recently. Seriously?
American Family Insurance's Teen Safe Driver Program provides free use of a dash cam for one year, along with education and professional coaching to help licensed teens become better drivers.
The camera records sights and sounds inside and outside the vehicle when triggered by erratic movement, such as swerving, hard braking and sudden acceleration. The images and sounds are sent wirelessly to a center where professional driving coaches review the footage. Parents then can log in and review a weekly report card featuring the video footage and an assessment of their teens' driving, including comparison with other teen drivers.