Iris Automation, a high tech company based in San Francisco developing collision avoidance software for drones to enable them to fly autonomously, was selected by Transport Canada in their beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) trial program, unlocking the ability for drones to fly independently on longer range, more demanding missions. The Iris collision avoidance module is crucial in ensuring that unmanned aerial systems (UAS) can actively avoid collisions in airspace shared by passenger, recreational and industrial aircraft.
Transport Canada recently announced the 4 winners of the Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight Proof of Concept Trials which are set to take place across the country, giving the winning UAS companies and their partners the opportunity to test new technology in a variety of markets and use case. In their announcement, Transport Canada stated:
“Beyond visual-line-of-sight drone operations will unlock the commercial potential for the industry, with future applications in long-range infrastructure inspections, precision agriculture, delivery solutions, public safety, and, eventually, in public transportation. These pilot projects support Budget 2017’s commitment to work with key industry partners to advance transportation innovation. They build on the success of Transport Canada’s 2017 pilot projects with public safety agencies and the department’s drone trials for use in the Canadian Arctic. We look forward to working with industry through these trials to provide hands-on experience operating drones in real-world conditions.’ -Transport Canada
Among the winning bids was Iris Automation in partnership with two lead applicants: Canada Post & Indro Robotics and ING Robotic Aviation. The projects are focused on enabling long range infrastructure inspection, emergency scene surveying, search and rescue and delivery by drone of mail and medical supplies.
After being founded in Vancouver by two UBC students, Iris Automation moved to Silicon Valley to further innovate our AI computer vision module which uses deep learning to make flying UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) safer by giving platforms the ability to “see like a pilot” and make autonomous collision avoidance decisions. Often likened to the Mobileye of the drone world, Iris Automation has built and validated a “holy grail” technology that represents a massive step towards widespread deployment of self-flying drones.