A Fleet of Drones Used by the Police Took to the Skies This Weekend, as IndyCar Racers Battled It out on the Ground at the Indianapolis 500.
Pilots from Speedway, IN Police Department, the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, Indianapolis Fire, and Wayne Township Fire Department deployed drones, both large and small, to help protect crowds at the various events throughout race weekend.
“With the Indy 500 being one of the largest events for attendance in the world, providing overwatch operations is very challenging,” said Ron Shelnutt, Police Officer with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department. “The DroneSense platform is seamless, easy to use and was essential in providing real time video streams from our drones to the command center.”
Drones were flown using the DroneSense software platform, which allowed first responders the ability to live-stream footage into the various command centers, providing officers and security officials with actionable, real-time video for security operations.
“Drones can help make an event like the Indy 500 safer by gathering information in a way that no other platform can,” said Ryan Bracken, DroneSense’s Chief Information Security Officer, and a former FBI special agent. “But that intelligence, whether it’s a video stream or other data, has to get to the right people in real-time to make it usable, and that’s where our software platform excels.”
While most special event organizers are largely focused on keeping drones away, the agencies protecting the Indy 500 saw the cutting edge benefits drones used for security purposes could offer.
Agencies involved in the response obtained a special exemption from the FAA’s national security flight restrictions overtop the event, for purposes of keeping the crowds, drivers and race personnel safe.
The Indy 500 marks the second time drones and the DroneSense software platform were used to protect a large scale event. Earlier this year, DroneSense was deployed with teams from Skyfire Consulting to cover the NFL’s championship game in Atlanta.