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Discussion in 'News' started by Khudson7, Feb 3, 2015.
While I would think DJI is liable, as has been say Toyota with accelerator problems or General Motors with ignition switch problems, but not being a lawyer does this DJI disclaimer carry any weight in making sure the pilots are and can be more or equally at fault for not following rules, regulations, guidelines and social habits. From the most recent DJI Phantom 2 Users Guide:
The line between a "drone" and an r/c aircraft is being extremely blurred... or rather forgotten about.
So if I take my r/c glider and thermal into a no-fly zone who's fault is that?.... the glider manufacturer?
People seem to be oblivious that these issues are not new, these issues have been around for 40 years... the only thing that has changed is the number of people that are entering the r/c community via off the shelf "drones".
How are they going to prevent r/c aircraft from entering these zones if they have no electronic capability to even know where they are located?
People need to be responsible for their own actions, regardless of ignorance. They cannot depend on technology or the manufacturer to keep them from doing stupid things.
so far DJI have seemed not to have mentioned to the media, that the fantastic "geofencing" firmware update with all the no fly zones can be overridden simply by flicking a switch & flying in atti mode. I'm sure if another major incident were too happen this information will soon come to light to clear themselves
Take a listen to this:
IMO at about 35 sec. the speaker suggests that the no fly's work in any mode as long as there is adequate GPS signaling.
I do not think that is true.... as long as there is a GPS lock in any mode the flight restrictions will work... at least that is my take on it:
"If you power on your Phantom and do not yet have GPS lock yet, you may take off anywhere, but as soon as the Phantom gets a lock, flight restrictions will take effect if you are close to an airport. If you happen to be airborne in a no-fly zone when this happens, your Phantom will no-fly auto-land."
Then just pop in a "faulty" GPS antenna which doesn't recieve GPS signal. ATTI mode. Boom, fly where you want. Seriously it is so easy to work around this, it is silly to put DJI at fault for something completely out of their control. You don't blame Toyota or GM for people who drive onto illegal territory, private land, etc, do you?
I'm not condoning flying into a no-fly-zone, quite the opposite. I just think it is too easy to work around the limitations to blame the company for someone who does this.
Oh, I totally agree.... you can just unplug the GPS and be done with it.... but there goes your fail safe I suppose.
I think these are good limitations, if not taken to excess... like the entire Washington DC area, for example.
You are comparing apples and oranges. Car makers don't include software that overrides the operator when you go into restricted areas. If they did, and a car were able to be driven into a restricted area, then a lawsuit for the failure of the software would definitely be forthcoming.
Just look at how many people are pissed at DJI, even someone suggesting a class-action, when RTH fails them.
So if DJI advertises the geofence to keep their product out of sensitive areas, then you had better bet they will be on the hook for a lawsuit if any third-party damages result from the failure of the geofence. Even if the operator hacks or defeats the geofence, DJI will be named in the suit for failing to prevent the hack.
It's not at all unusual for someone who makes a mistake to point a finger at anyone or anything else to avoid admitting responsibility. Lawyers know that as well as anyone, including (increasingly) the lawyers at DJI. That won't prevent other attorneys from trying to pin blame on anyone they can get away with accusing, including DJI. DJI's attorneys are already taking a strong position that the end user is responsible for anything "illegal" that might be done with the products. I can report from recent contact that DJI is increasingly paranoid on the subject of liability. However, when it comes to the NTSB and the FAA, the responsibility begins and ends with the PIC.