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Florida enacts bill banning foreign-made drones for emergency services

A bit of an outlier, Florida Senate Bill 44 (2021), is now in force and as such drones made by DJI and Autel are out of bounds for Floridian emergency services.

There is an approved list of companies that Fire, Police and Rescue can use in Florida

  • Skydio
  • Parrot
  • Altavian
  • Teal Drones
  • Vantage Robotics

The list is small with perhaps only Skydio and Parrot having any sort of ecosystem that might be able to be leveraged by software that public services already use. Altavian, Teal and Vantage were very much focused on the Blue sUAS list in development and military use cases.

DJI were very clever early doors in seeding their drones into American emergency service hands and leveraging them for marketing purposes. By extension they then have embedded real users feeding back requirements to DJI and those users then show colleagues how they used the equipment. I can’t fault DJI’s methods. It cannot be denied that Chinese drones have saved American lives.

Major factors in DJI and Autel’s favour were the ability to walk into high street retailers and replace batteries and established service and replacement departments across America.

This will have generated high expectations of the favoured vendors to match and better, I wonder if they are all up to the job.

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