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DJI Airworks 2019 Keynote Wednesday morning with Mario Rebello, Jan Gasparic… — Part II

Here’s the second keynote from DJI Airworks 2019 from Wednesday morning with Mario Rebello, Jan Gasparic, Dinesh Narayanan, Brendan Schulman, Cynthia Huang, Suzanne Lemieux, and Greg Aldrich talking about topics ranging from DJI’s Qualified Entities Program, ADS-B,  edge computing, safety and more.

Please keep in mind that this transcription was almost entirely computer-generated and will likely contain typos and errors, etc. We feel that it still makes sense to publish it, as it helps you to search through the text and video quickly to find what interests you. As with the other post, you can make edits in the text here.

DJI Airworks 2019 Keynote Wednesday morning

Mario Rebello, DJI

[00:00:00] Good morning. Welcome back everyone. We hope you’ve been enjoying the program to date, uh, lots of activity yesterday. And we will continue with the program later on today after the session and hope that you all will be participating. So today, ladies and gentlemen, it’s all about reshaping the commercial drone ecosystem and how together we can take the necessary steps towards transforming this industry to even greater heights, whether it’s establishing industry best practices across verticals, developing new innovative solutions to further support that ecosystem, or even driving policymakers to create and sustain the necessary regulations that we need.

[00:00:54] We all have a role to play. We all have work to do. Towards the future development of this industry, and these are just some of the topics that we’ll be covering throughout the course of the session, as well as the panels later on this afternoon at DJI. We understand that and are passionate about the value that drone technology brings to all corners of the world.

[00:01:16] For instance, earlier this year on the African continent, we witnessed how wildlife conservation is like the Kenya based Mara elephant project. Are you using drones and their operations to manage human elephant conflict and preserve elephants in the wild? The staff at the Mar elephant project are tasked with a very difficult challenge.

[00:01:38] It’s estimated that over 38,000 elephants are killed each year for their ivory. That’s roughly one elephant. Every 15 minutes. One tusk from an adult elephant can easily weigh over 40 kilograms. With elephant ivory selling for up to $3,000 per kilogram on the open market. These animals are working gold mines for poachers.

[00:02:06] The income generated from killing elephants is not just lucrative for the individuals, but also the local militias and terrorist groups who use the income to fund deadly illegal activities of all the available tools that the Mar elephant project deploys. One tool that they found to be very effective and practical is the aerial drone and for good reason, actually, we have the video to show you.

[00:02:35] VIDEO:

[00:02:35] I’ve been working closely with the Mara elephant projects Institute to further the use of drones in the fight against poaching and mitigating human elephant conflict using DJI and Patrice and Maverick series for a variety of missions that both stop coachers and guide elephants to safer lands.

[00:02:50] We can locate poachers from a distance during the day, which is far easier now with the 30 times zoom with a C 30 camera and night as well with the X T to thermal camera. Mark also came up with the idea of using drones to herd of elephants like someone might hurt sheep. When an elephant hears a drone, it sounds like a swarm of bees, and they’ll change course to avoid that sample.

[00:03:12] This is incredibly helpful when we see a pack of elephants moving toward a village or poaching hot zone.

[00:03:20] Since the organization began, we’ve arrested over 300 coaches and seized over 1,000 kilograms of iron. We’ve also reduced the percentage of illegally killed elephants from 83% to 44%, meaning elephants are more likely to live out their lives naturally in the wild, elephants are considered a landscape species. This means that they require large, diverse areas to live. And have a significant impact on the ecosystem around them. By protecting the elephants, we’re also protecting the ecosystem, and drones played a significant role our work.

[00:04:10] Mario Rebello: [00:04:10] Look, it’s through applications like these where we’re just starting to see how valuable the drone technology. Is and can be on a going forward basis, whether it’s saving lives in the United States or protecting wildlife in Africa, drones are truly revolutionizing the way we work, live and view the world.

[00:04:31] None of these developments would be possible or not for the people on the ground who see the value and benefit of this technology and also provide continued continuous improvement and embrace this technology through up in work that they do on a daily basis. Our efforts to strengthen the UAV adoption and accessibility don’t stop there.

[00:04:52] We’re also cognizant of the role and value that our partners are bringing to the table and adding greater value to the DJI drone platform from the likes of flair, whom we partnered with since 19 since 2015 to the likes of Microsoft and American petroleum Institute, whom you’ll hear from later today as well as many others.

[00:05:12] Our partnerships remain critical and core. To the work and the success that DJI is having here in the United States and throughout the world. Because of this, we are committed to supporting this ecosystem in a variety of different ways. And later today we’ll get into great more details as to how that is exactly working out and what else is in the pipeline to enhance and really grow those partnerships and really grow the industry.

[00:05:38] But for now, I’d like to shift back and focus our attention back on an issue that we discussed yesterday. And that really is very important to us as an industry. And I think it’s really critical for us to address and encompass all stakeholders in the industry. And that’s data security, data management for drone technology.

[00:05:58] Yesterday got touched on this topic briefly, but because this topic is so core and critical to what needs to happen within the industry, we’ve invited a couple of subject matter experts to come and join us this morning and really share and hear from their perspectives. And share their thoughts on what more needs to be done.

[00:06:17] So with that, I’d like to invite Daryl West, vice president of the governance programs at the Brookings institution and Troy Gonzalez, chief engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton. Gentlemen, welcome.

[00:06:34] Thank you both for being here today. You it. So just to put things in perspective, as we started to discuss yesterday. There is a growing need to address the issue of data management, data security, and the fact that we do need to start developing industry protocols and start framing the issue and really working towards a path of industry standards that really addresses the issues that are, that are of concern.

[00:07:01] So Daryl has been working on a number of these issues from the governance program and, uh, really looking at how technology, especially evolving technologies are shaping. The world that we live in, and then what policies or regulations are needed. And then Troy has been working as part of Booz Allen, really helping and collaborating with government agencies, federal, state, local, to address these issues of emerging technologies and how to properly deploy and embrace these technologies in a more proactive manner.

[00:07:28] So they have hands on, they’re boots on the ground as a fellow. Firemen would say, uh, that we heard from yesterday. But you both aren’t boots on the ground and looking at the issue. It’s from different perspective. So thank you for joining us today. So Troy, first question to, you know, as you’re seeing the agencies at the federal, any event, the state and local level, start to look at the technology of drone technology. As we know there are a number of issues that they have to work through. What is your perspective on how are the agencies embracing deployment at the technology? Looking at the technology and what’s their thinking and how are you helping them through these issues?

[00:08:07] Troy Gonzales: [00:08:07] Yeah, it’s, it’s fun. And specifically with data security, when you start to think of that, I think that’s one of their biggest challenges and, uh, that it’s, it’s shifting from agency to agency, from civil to defense.

[00:08:20] I think you start to see the varying degrees of complexity that they’re dealing with. But predictability I think is key and what they’re really trying to do. And because predictability reduces risk, reduces cost to produce delays. And all the things that they do. Predictability also allows, I think, drone service providers and manufacturers like you to take risks and invest in technology and allows you to build out new platforms, new configurations, new sensors, new software.

[00:08:53] And without that predictability, you know, it’s, it’s very difficult. Right? And, uh, without that predictability, what happens is the product just become stagnant. Sub-optimized. Um, and the quality and the performance shows up in the work that we do and, and the work that we do shows up in the missions of our clients and the things that we’re trying to do.

[00:09:13] So, um, predictability is very important. And understanding predictability really comes down to understanding those experiences across civil agencies and defense agencies and state and local. And even within defense, you see multiple variations of requirements, whether you’re on base or off base.

[00:09:32] And I think the real challenge there is maintaining those security protocols as a, as a, you know, as a consultant and working with these drone providers, we work with precision hock trying to maintain that variation is key. Whether it’s the platform that you have to use or whether it’s the air gapped computer that you have to have, or the, uh, disconnected video link on your controller.

[00:09:54] Can you imagine flying like that? You know, that’s always really fun. And those are the things that they have to deal with. Um, so, you know, it’s, it’s a lengthy process usually. I mean, we have to get, um, waivers from the office of secretary of defense if we want to fly on an installation before that, even before we do anything, we have to have a cyber assessment on the platforms.

[00:10:13] So the things that we’re doing, so it’s not predictable at times because things are changing constantly. And, uh, and it’s a lengthy process, so there’s some difficulties there. So those are the things that we’re working very closely with our, with our clients. We’re still seeing demand. Great expectations of what this emerging technology can do, even with the changes.

[00:10:32] Um, last year we were in the right in the middle of a project, and these, all of these requirements hit everybody bunkered down that including our clients, um, and worked very closely to make sure that the project was a success. So that’s amazing to see how people can do that. So, but I’ve also seen the demand signal and use for drones. It’s gone up almost 600% and saw that

[00:10:52] Mario Rebello: [00:10:52] that’s 600%. Significant Darrell. Um, knowing that we’re talking about emerging technology and knowing that the work that you’ve done over the last few years in terms of helping a number of industries and helping them think through how to address these security data management issues, are there lessons to be learned by the drone industry community based upon the work and what you’ve seen other industries do in terms of how they embrace and address these technology data security issues?

[00:11:20] Daryl West: [00:11:20] I think looking at other technologies is a, a, is instructive just in terms of seeing how they have managed some of these, uh, privacy and security issues. Because every new technology faces a number of challenges and people have worries about how that they actually are going to operate. And so, uh, for example, you know, you look at the various generations of mobile technology, you know, oftentimes there were companies that had to do.

[00:11:44] For technical specifications and that it was hard for the industry as a whole to develop. And so what industries did in those situations was to come together and use technical standard setting to basically address people’s concerns and Craig to some of the predictability that Troy has been talking about.

[00:12:04] And there are a couple of organizations that have done great work in this area. The I triple E or the Institute of electrical and electronics engineers. It’s a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1884 when electricity was coming on the scene. And there were lots of questions about that as a new technology and so that the experts got together and kind of figured out voltage issues and the technical specs on the various types of electrical work with equipment.

[00:12:32] And then at the government level, there’s an organization called at NIST, uh, the national Institute for standards and technology. Oh. Which basically does a lot of critical infrastructure of things. So they work on the power grid, on robotics, on nano technology, and so on. But they try and come up with agreed upon, uh, technical standards that address a various concerns. So I think that is a good model for other new technologies that are coming on the scene today.

[00:13:01] Mario Rebello: [00:13:01] Excellent. So at DJI, as all of you know, in the audience, we’re, we’re practical. We always like to understand what’s the path forward and how do we engineer ourselves. To, uh, the situation that we are addressing and sort of working through these issues.

[00:13:15] So, Troy, from your perspective, what’s the path forward for the industry collectively to work with the agency public safety to address their concerns and how do we instill greater confidence and at the same time address the issues that they’re concerned with from a network perspective?

[00:13:32] Troy Gonzales: [00:13:32] It’s fun and it’s a lot of hard work. And I think what’s really interesting that I’ve really seen a lot of our clients dig in. And that’s exciting to see. Um, you know, so I, I think the most difficult thing that we need to do is we need to work with our clients and industry. All of us, right? Work together very closely with, uh, with the regulators and we’re designing out what we’re going to do for our specific industry.

[00:13:55] I don’t think it’s fair to say that it can be across all industries. That’s going to be very difficult, but we need to start thinking about the data architecture that we’re putting together, the data collection protocols, which is what we’re all here. Do you have the drones and everything that we’re doing.

[00:14:09] And now a lot of the AI applications and the analysis and reporting that you’re doing and the decision making, all of that needs to come together and needs to be, uh, pulled together in one area. And the key there is really, you know, build right now for what you currently understand are the standards, but sure that you’re designing and planning for flexibility and a scale.

[00:14:30] And I think scale is something people forget about. A lot of our clients start with one drone. They end up with 400. Right? And so nobody’s thinking about that scale. And you talk about, um, you know, the data, the information, the fleet, all the things that they’re doing. So we said we’d like to start with cyber first.

[00:14:46] I think that’s important. It is so difficult to put cyber in at the end of anything that you’re doing. So cyber first, always, and building the data architecture that has that ability to scale, that it has that ability to adjust huge amounts of data and at a very high velocity cause that’s what we’re going to need.

[00:15:03] In the future. And then making sure that you have a drone service provider that has that flexibility and that ability to scale, um, and has those right platforms to do the things that you have to do. And then it’s always really difficult, but you have to keep safety always in mind. But you’re really kind of balancing that with, uh, with, you know, with cost considerations.

[00:15:24] And so the way that I would kind of look at it is you start with the standards measure against those. And then, um, you know, make those adjustments in, relax as you’ve learned.

[00:15:33] Mario Rebello: [00:15:33] As you’ve learned. That sounds very good guidance. So things that we need to do as a collective from experience, from experience. Sure. Daryl, from your perspective, from a governance model perspective, what’s the path forward? You know, we’ve just heard from Troy from a practical perspective of how the agencies or, or critical infrastructure entities are looking at these issues from a governance. So stepping back, what does your guidance of what these see should be some of the steps that we should be taking collectively as an industry?

[00:16:04] Daryl West: [00:16:04] Well, we know that the public is concerned about privacy, security, and the impact of new technologies on human safety. So those are things that everyone has to address. And the key thing is really getting the governance piece, right. Uh, thinking about what are the appropriate policies and regulations that will reassure the public.

[00:16:24] That will give us the benefits we want. We’re also mitigating possible risks, and we’re seeing a lot of interest at the local, state and federal levels in these new technologies. And so at the local level, uh, police and fire, uh, are engaging with the UAS, uh, at the state level. There are a number of state departments of transportation that are active in this area.

[00:16:49] At the federal level, the department of interior has been a big innovator. And then the FAA is charged with kind of regulating or things that go into the sky. So figuring out what are the right policies from each of those levels. We see lots of examples like California just passed a new privacy law that gives people more control over their personal information.

[00:17:13] Uh, there’s a question in terms of how long data should be retained. That’s a policy issue that can be addressed. So that’s a way to. Deal with that. A particular concern on government procurement, kind of coming up with consistent standards so that we make sure whatever technologies the federal government is purchasing our a safe and reliable by.

[00:17:37] And so I think those are all, uh, areas where there’s a path forward, but it basically involves industry engaging with the relevant government regulators.

[00:17:47] Mario Rebello: [00:17:47] So I think we’ve just heard it, again, it’s industry engaging with. Amongst ourselves, collaborating with our government and policy makers and regulators to really arrive in the key stake holders to arrive at a solution.

[00:18:00] That’s really the path forward for us collectively. So I think we’ve, we’ve, uh, we’ve heard the message, again, as we heard yesterday, you’ve all reinforced this. So thank you for both of you for coming and sharing your, your perspective and thoughts. But look what remains a lot of work needs to be, uh, John over the next few months, next few quarters on a go forward basis. But the, the, the issue here is to collaborate and work across the work that you all are doing in addressing these issues head on. So would that, Darrell and Troy, thank you very much for joining us today. We look forward to continuing working with you.

[00:18:34] With that I would that like to introduce my colleague Jan Gasparic to continue with the program. Jan?

Jan Gasparic, DJI

[00:18:44] Thank you very much. a nhonor to be here in front of you today for a day, too. There’s a lot of content that we have to share with you today. Uh, but really, you know, the theme of this year’s air works conference is all about today’s tools and what we can do to establish tomorrow’s standards. So, um, in my section right now, I’m going to cover herself on, uh, some of the things that we’re doing to really support the ecosystem.

[00:19:16] And later on we’re going to go into some of the developer technologies as well. So first, how DJs sees itself within the industry and also how the, uh, what all the different stakeholders within the ecosystems are. So yesterday we mentioned really how DJI sees itself as a custodian of the industry.

[00:19:34] And we see our technology acting as a platform that others can build on top of. Over the last four to five years, we’ve seen a range of different businesses emerge on top of the platform. Everything from system integrators to drone service providers, and of course software developers as well. And we see this ecosystem acting as a fundamental interface between us and the industry.

[00:20:02] Because DJI itself, we’re not able to build all the different unique solutions and meet all the individual requirements that end users are gonna hash. It’s really vital that we lean on the ecosystem to help us unlock the potential of this technology. So today we’re going to tell you about it. You know, some of the investments that we’re making and the three key areas.

[00:20:24] So first is product safety. Now, earlier this year we hosted our elevating safety events and. Brendan and his section later on, we’ll tell you more about, um, some of the activities in that area. But one of our key commitments is that starting in 2020, all of our aircraft above 250 grams will come with a ADS-B.

[00:20:44] So we really see that as being a core initiative for us to continue to elevate, um, safety standards across the industry. Second is product security. We’ve made immense strides over the last two years. In terms of improving our product and security, and you can expect that we will continue to invest in this area as well.

[00:21:05] So moving forward, all of our products are coming with AEs, two 56 encryption with some of our new commercial platforms. You’ve also seen that we’ve integrated a password protection, and we’re going to continue to build out the different security features that we need in order to make sure that our end users have the tools that they need to secure the data that they’re capturing. The DJI. Great.

[00:21:29] Lastly, we’re making massive investments into how we’re supporting our partners. I’d like to dig a little bit deeper into this. So first, we’re really scaling out our SDK programs. We recognize that the SDK is really formed the foundation of, of the ecosystem. So we’re co we’ll cover a little bit more of this later on, but the amount of investment into the SDKs is really going to be paramount over the next two years as the industry begins to scale up.

[00:21:56] Second, we’re improving the channel management program. Over the last year. We’ve introduced a system where we’re able to, um, we’re able to tier our channel partners, recognize their individual, can be contributions, and also reward them for these contributions as well. So we want to, we want to create a system that really helps, um, businesses invest in this technology, into these sets, sets them up for the long term.

[00:22:24] We’re also standardizing our enterprise shield offering, so being able to add more reliability in terms of the warranty that supported their products. We see that as being really key for enterprise customers when we will continue to be investing in that program. Earlier this year, we launched our UTC training model, which is essentially a franchise program that allows our channel partners to become training centers and this will continue to grow over the next year.

[00:22:51] We see the need for training do you really key for the industry? And we want to be part of that so that we’re able to set everyone up to grow successfully. And lastly, we’re supporting the industry through the drone advocacy network. So I think most of you are probably familiar with the dad, but for those of you that are not pleased, find Jordan Gross and he’s, uh, he’s our point person on this.

[00:23:14] But essentially we’re, we’ve created a group to really address our common issues. On the advocacy front and make sure that we’re all really speaking with one voice now on Georgia called developer technologies. These really formed the foundations of the ecosystem. Today we have five, four STKs, and I want to give you a sense and really the growth that’s happened over the last few years.

[00:23:39] We were seeing an expanding demand for our partner solutions. When we first launched our mobile SDK, it was a, we had roughly about 150,000 activations. In 2015 last year in reached 4.7 million activations, and this year we’re estimated to go up to 6.2 million activations. So a tremendous amount of growth for the ecosystem in terms of demand for solutions that all our partners built.

[00:24:08] We’re also seeing a broadening of the, of the pool of developers that are building on our platform, and today we see over 60,000. Individual organizations developing on DJI systems. We It’s hard to imagine, but actually we launched a, the original payload SDK, uh, last year in March. So it’s a, it’s only been a little bit over a year, but since then we’ve seen 110 hardware specific developers join that program, and they’re really evaluating the different payloads that they can build, either building unique payloads or taking their sensor technologies and adapting them to our truck.

[00:24:45] Awesome. So that’s really a core program for us moving forward. Uh, in the last year, out of that, 110, 22 of these developers have been able to bring solutions to market. So you consider that development cycle. It’s quite quick considering that involves hardware and manufacturing, ensuring that you’re able to have a product that’s fully integrated with the UAS.

[00:25:07] So you gave me just a sense of the wide range of different solutions on the payload SDK. So we have a bleed cameras. They’re designed specifically for mapping. We’ve seen the integration of Ambien gas detection systems and also unique industry specific camera systems. In the last week we had two new additions.

[00:25:27] One was the Z15 Spotlight. This is specifically for public safety use cases, and you can imagine how a bright spotlight can be very useful in a search and rescue scenario and also the Amica and gas detection. And this is specifically designed for, uh, for industrial inspections. Now, these are all specialized solutions that it would be difficult for DJI to tease out all the different industry requirements ourselves, right?

[00:25:54] So this is why through the payload SDK, we see this being a unique opportunity to bring others onto our platform. And as far as I’m aware, today, DJI, we have 22 payloads. We, we had the largest payload, uh, the largest payload portfolio. Out of any of UAS platform in the industry. And of course behind this is DJI Skype, or if you’d like to see all the different payloads that are available on the, on the DJI system, please check out enterprise so of course, every year we try to find a, we listen to the feedback that we get from our industry partners of what new tools they need and what are the common problems they’re experiencing.

[00:26:35] So. So today will be some very exciting announcements for you in this space as well. So first back to the payload SDK. So like I mentioned earlier, we really see this as being it a really important SDK because it allows others to bring their hardware solutions onto DJI platforms. But one of the things that we see is that, um, you know, when we were trying to decide what’s the next step of what we’re trying to do next.

[00:27:01] We’re, we oftentimes look across the ecosystem and see what, what’s the common thing that everybody’s developing was this same problem that everybody’s trying and trying to address. And we saw that for most developers, it took them over four months to develop a gimbal successfully. There’s a lot of unique technologies that go into that.

[00:27:22] A lot of fine tuning that’s difficult to master. And of course, DJI ourselves. And we’ve. And building gimbals for many years at this point. So today I’m very proud to announce the DJI is announcing the DJI exports, and this is a unique gimbal for the payload is a cave program that allows others to integrate their sensors onto our systems.

[00:27:45] When you utilize Arcangel technology, we see this as being an incredible way to actually accelerate development for all of the different hardware manufacturers out there. And ease the burden of actually coming onto the UAV platform. We estimate that with the, with the export, we’re able to help develop bristles, reduce their time to market by 60% okay, so we’re essentially taking out the most difficult component, giving them common interfaces and letting them focus on what they really need to focus on, which is the payload, some key features of the export.

[00:28:20] First, we have automatic gimbal tuning. Again, this is. Just another system to really allow, um, it’s really about the developers to optimize for their operations. On the UAV, we have an IP 44 rating, so if they need to build a ruggedized payload, no problem. We’re starting with the, with the gimbal already, and they can then extend that over onto their sensor.

[00:28:44] The expert also features the same Skyport interface. So if you developed one in the generation, it’s very easily, you can move on to the second generation. And with, uh, the Skype room, we’re also creating an upgrade, which is going to increasing that, a power of the put through it enabled additional camera features and support time and time.

[00:29:05] Sleek is really a critical feature when you’re doing a lot of mapping missions being sent because essentially we’re sinking up. We’re getting a really accurate scene between the GPS and how that’s, uh, tagged into the image EXIF data. Yeah. So we’re very excited about, uh, what are the opportunities that this presents to our developer ecosystem.

[00:29:23] And we hope to continue to grow the, the hardware potential, allow others to come onto our platform so we can really realize the potential of this technology. Now I’d like to move on to some of the changes we’re making in terms of improving the management of the ecosystem and specifically this about support and training.

[00:29:46] Now about a year ago, we originally announced enterprise shield, which is our support program for commercial customers. Over the last year, we’ve have expanded that team so that we now have over 500 technicians supporting the enterprise shield program. So we’re investing a lot of headcount resources, ensure that you’re getting better time, and the responses where we use that, we’re able to much better.

[00:30:10] We’re able to. Thanks for repairs in a much faster turn around time and ultimately keep the industry up in the air. We have also extended this program to our developer, excuse me, to our dealer community. So our channel partners are now able to do, also become technical specialists so that they can service and repair this products themselves.

[00:30:31] So to date, we trained over 1000 technicians, their analysis, so able to support the industry within their homework. We’ve also added an extension offering called renewed to the enterprise shield. So now you’re no longer facing a cutoff after one year. Next, where the quality and qualified NCS program.

[00:30:54] Now, when we first launched a qualified entities program, intention was to create a way to pre-authorize a public safety agencies so that they don’t, so that they can respond to any incidents that they’re facing without having to. A unlock no fly sense. Now, in the United States, there’s a, I believe the last one was roughly around 900 public safety agencies that are deploying, uh, that are currently deploying drones.

[00:31:19] Today we’ve actually processed over 300 public safety agency. So the program has been adopted very quickly because again, we’re just trying to create the basic tools to allow the industry to stay up in flight and do the work that they need to do. So if you’re a public safety operator, you’re not part of the QEP program yet, please sign up and you can email us at dot com so that’s it for me.

[00:31:47] Um, to now we’re gonna invite on stage one of our key partners for supporting the ecosystem. Of course, that’s none other than Microsoft. So I’m going to buy on stage Dinesh Narayanan global head of device incubation to tell you more about some of the amazing work they’re doing.

Dinesh Narayanan

[00:32:08] It’s great to be here at airworks again and also see so many familiar faces. It’s also amazing what’s happened in the last 10 months since the last air Wars conference. The drone industry is at an interesting inflection point. There’s unprecedented demand from customers across the increasing number of verticals globally.

[00:32:30] There’s nascent regulatory frameworks that I think a lot of us wish would evolve much faster than they are evolving today. We have ecosystem scale challenges, largely rooted in data management and autonomy is on the horizon, but still in many cases, far away. And also within the last 10 months, our team has been listening and learning.

[00:32:50] We’ve spoken to over 250 enterprise customers across 12 vertical markets. And we’ve enabled almost 20 solution partners that have subject matter expertise and use case specificity on our Azure platform. We’ve also been integrating drone technology with a number of our advanced technologies and Microsoft hollow lens and digital twins to enable quick 3d reconstructions of assets ingestion into our mixed reality platform overlaid with IOT data from our digital twins.

[00:33:23] To foster distributed remote real time collaboration. Microsoft teams to enable drone video to live screen from FirstLine workers to remote command centers overlaid with chat and file sharing. And the Microsoft power platform are developer centric and developer facing tool set to allow for structured data.

[00:33:47] Quick structured data in. Quick creation of BI and power apps, dashboards, and ultimately integration in a low code, no code way with ERP systems such as SAP, Salesforce, and dynamics. We also have Microsoft air center, our simulation platform, routed reinforcement learning that trains autonomous systems.

[00:34:14] We quickly ingest a physical space into the digital world. And then we replicate drone sensor data and, uh, and also the flight physics of the drone. And in fact, we’re working with a large renewable energy company and a drone solution provider with DJ’s M two 10 drone today to train autonomous systems to inspect, uh, to inspect critical infrastructure.

[00:34:37] Uh, and we’ll, we’ll talk more about this later this year, but it’s truly exciting and it’s an amazing product. Yeah. So it’s been incredible to see, even in this 10 month period, how drones intersected so many advanced technologies to push solutions forward for customers. On a personal front, the last 10 months has also been a period of immense change for me as well.

[00:35:00] I recently turned 40 and my wife and I are expecting our first child, and as I prepare for Parenthood, my views on technology continue to evolve. What skills can we teach our daughter in an increasingly AI powered world to ensure that she thrives in her career? How do we instill the importance of in-person human to human communication versus digital communication, which is increasingly becoming the norm today?

[00:35:27] Well, she and I look out the window at mountains and lakes and Seattle and see clear skies or airspace covered with drones and air taxi. And these are the questions that my wife and I are talking about on a daily basis. We, as members of the drone industry, let’s see. So much potential for good in this technology on a daily basis.

[00:35:48] Also have to consider the unintended use of these technologies as we responsibly scaled them. And none of this is possible without trust. Firstly, trust in the business model and the mission. Our customers increasingly demand that their partners aligned to their values and have the customer’s best interest in mind for this community.

[00:36:11] This means that Microsoft will not be creating a first party drone program or building drone solutions. Instead, we’re going to continue to vest in the core building blocks that create responsible drone solutions that ultimately scale to the enterprise and enterprise and empower all of you to be best of breed.

[00:36:30] Secondly, trust in technology itself. It’s why we believe privacy is a fundamental human right. We continue to invest in cybersecurity from edge to cloud, and also are fostering the conversation globally and leading the industry and supporting GDPR. Microsoft truly runs on trust, and as you’ve heard this week, both DJI and Microsoft in our respective areas of expertise.

[00:36:58] Are committed to fostering this dialogue across the fields of drone and AI respectively. As such, I’m excited to announce two new integrations rooted in this pillar of trust. Firstly, the certification of DJI is onboard computing unit, the manifold to see with Azure IOT edge, our containerized run time to allow AI model execution on the drone while securely connecting to the Azure cloud on the back end.

[00:37:27] Secondly, I’m thrilled to announce DJI flight pump coming over to Azure for firmware management and fleet management for DJI as government edition solution. Our aim is to deploy this solution on Azure government cloud, as well as our commercial cloud to deliver drones at scale to public sector customers that so desperately need it.

[00:37:49] These technologies augment and already evolving platform approach that we’re taking to the drone ecosystem. Intent is to create reference architecture so you can quickly deliver, deliver drone SAS solutions that give you the choice of whether where most efficiently you need to run AI models on drone, on PC or server base station or in the cloud.

[00:38:13] For our end customers. We’ve heard repeatedly that drone data management continues to be one of the top issues in scaling drones. And so our customer facing teams are working with end customers to create Azure data lakes to quickly ingest unstructured data and structure it. So it’s there for use across the enterprise.

[00:38:32] And so with drone developers, we also aim to create parallel data lakes so that you can efficiently transfer data back and forth between your applications. And your customers. We also recognize the need for fundamental capabilities that are impediments today in scaling drone operations for regulated industries.

[00:38:51] Compliance is paramount, and so we’ll partner. We’re going to continue to partner with a leading compliance engines and rules engines to deliver fleet management, pilot authorization compliance, as well as increasingly new and advanced feature sets such as three D modeling and simulation and autonomy.

[00:39:11] We also hear from customers that workflow integration is critical to getting the most value out of drones. And so today we have a great partnership with SAP on Azure. Uh, we also have Microsoft dynamics, our workflow tool and reel enable third party integrations with over 250 systems via a low code, no code platform called the Microsoft power platform.

[00:39:34] Drone data in isolation is act is critical and extremely valuable. But when combined with other forms of data, the value to customers is exponential. And so we continue to work with customers to combine their core IOT dataset and third party data sets with drone data and allow them to quickly create and deploy AI and ML models to gain even deeper insights about their business and their customers.

[00:39:59] And finally, we want to enable a broad set of visualization tools, whether that’s video streaming overlaid with real time AI. Uh, AR and VR, Microsoft teams, as well as our digital twin platform that really is there to create, uh, IOT data overlays over 3d instantiation of the world. It’s amazing to see all of these technologies come together and we are working with many of you as well as end customers on every, to represent every piece of technology on the slot, like DJI.

[00:40:31] We also recognize the value of drones and disaster response. Via our tech for social impact initiative. We will leverage our drone IOT platform to support a consortium of nonprofit organizations seeking to deliver human aid and in the humanitarian process in a much deeper way. These organizations include the American red cross, that hope team Rubicon and more.

[00:40:58] It’s truly humbling to see the great work these organizations are doing. And we hope to support them in increasing their impact across a broader set of society. In the commercial sector, we’re tracking with steadily growing pipeline of drone deals across 12 vertical markets, globally. Partnerships with you, the enterprise drone developer community are critical to realizing customer value and being able to deliver customers things that truly transform their business.

[00:41:29] And so we welcome partnerships with you. If you have solutions in these areas and you’re seeking to build scalability, infuse them with AI, and increasingly prepare for an autonomous world and a few years out, please reach out to us. Thank you all for having me at Airworks. We look forward to meeting you and enjoy the rest of the show.

Brendan Schulman, DJI

[00:41:54] Nice. That was just amazing. So glad to hear all the great stuff that Microsoft is doing. I’m Brendan, showman, vice president of policy and legal affairs. And when you think about where we were just a few years ago, just three years ago, there was no part one Oh seven the rules for scaling commercial operations and enterprise operations did not exist.

[00:42:16] And really that’s why we advocate for reasonable and appropriate rules so that all of you can get the most out of your own techniques. So we are on your side. And the way we do that is to advocate for legislation and regulation that address real and actual safety, privacy and security concerns.

[00:42:33] And we also develop safety features that address many of the top concerns that people have about drone technology. And I’m really proud to say that really DJI leading the industry when it comes to safety. Do you think back at our record of technological innovation just in the safety area. Of course, as many of you know, we’ve had geo-fencing for years.

[00:42:52] We were the first to deploy a wide scale, a system of keeping drums away from airports and other sensitive facilities that might raise security or safety concerns. And we upgraded that system twice in the past four years. The change, the shape of the geo-fencing in collaboration with aviation industry stakeholders to better reflect the risk at airport runways and also to allow more flexibility to the side of runs.

[00:43:16] Anyways, so that those of you with authority to fly have more flexibility and more ways to get what we call unlocked and actually go out and do your great work. We also stepped up our support to provide a fast on locking in under 30 minutes and in many cases under five minutes, and as John was mentioning, the QEP program designed to make sure that public safety agencies have access to the technology wherever they operate.

[00:43:39] We also pioneer to all these other safety features, altitude limitation, return to home, obstacle sensing. A knowledge base to make sure the people know what the rules are for safe operation as well as air Roscoe promote ID, uh, working real world remote ID solutions to provide security and accountability.

[00:43:56] The things that the government, regulators and security officials are saying they need to ensure that drones can be operated safely. And I’m glad to say that Eris scope is making a difference. I wish I could tell you some of the stories we hear, they’re sort of sensitive, but trust me, we have great results from Harris scope and making a difference to him.

[00:44:14] State, two facilities, critical facilities in the airports. People are understanding already how they can use remote ID to address the real concerns that they have about drone technology and take action to mitigate threats and risks. And really that means we’re succeeding in delivering something to the world, not just in innovation and what you do with the drone, but also to address those policy concerns.

[00:44:36] And of course, as John mentioned, we announced our commitment to ADS-B be receivers. Starting next year, all drones above 250 grams that we release will contain a eight receiver, which listens for other aviation traffic and alerts pilots to, to potential collision risk tasks. This is an incredible commitment that we can make.

[00:44:55] We haven’t been asked to do it. Uh, we did it because it was the right thing to do. I asked my engineering team, um, back in headquarters, okay, we’ve done all the safety stuff for a number of years. How much time have we spent doing those things? How do we measure that commitment? And we had them count up the hours on just three safety features, the geo fencing, the remote ID era scope, and the work that already existed on HDSP, what we call AirSense.

[00:45:21] And they came back to me and said, we’ve spent at least 30,000 hours working on just those features since 2017 it’s hard to put that number in perspective. So if you think about it, it’s five engineers working full time for nearly three years just on those three safety features. From our perspective, it’s an incredible commitment.

[00:45:41] Shows that we’re serious about solving challenges and problems. Unfortunately, you might not know that all of this work exists out there, and these features actually are making a difference because of the headlines that we often see. Um, you know, reports that drone risk is increasing sharply or that, uh, drones are, you know, two drones are coming with an airliners at 14,000 feet, but it’s not just the headlines.

[00:46:04] I recently came across this, some of you may have seen me. Taking this around. This is a Lego set. Put it on screen there. This Lego set that depicts a drone that is stealing a statue from a town square, being chased by a police helicopter firing a net. So it’s a counter us S I suppose worst yet, that statute.

[00:46:27] If you take a close look, my kids put this thing together, so we actually took a look at it. That is a fire fighters Memorial statue. Okay. So this is what Lego was suggesting to our kids. That what drones do, what a contrast to what we’ve heard this week at air works in terms of firefighters putting drones to use saving lives and property.

[00:46:48] So this is a huge concern. Tasks, right? Because we know that drones are not stealing and probably can’t steal a statue from the town square. Instead, they’re saving lives. Right. And we’ve, as we’ve already said, we’ve been tracking just the public reports in the news. There are actually some good news stories out there.

[00:47:05] Not so many, but some. We find them and we count them in at least 279 people have been rescued from peril in many cases, life threatening situations through the use of small drones just in the past couple of years. So we need to get the message out about this, right? What do we do on our team? We educate policymakers.

[00:47:23] What are drones actually doing. How, how can they be operated in a safe way? Um, we advocate for solutions to real problems, right? So remote ID, that’s security. That’s accountability. Things that bring real solutions to policy challenges and that remote ID solution we’ve been asking the FDA to, to, um, to get it into place.

[00:47:44] Uh, ever since 2017 when I served on the aviation will make the committee, it’s still a couple of years away that is taking its time. So we’re moving ahead of that with air scope, but not just Aero scope. We’re working on the drone advisory committee to find a way to implement voluntary remote ID across the industry.

[00:48:01] So it’s not just the DJI that has a remote ID solution, but everyone is doing it even before the FAA can figure it out. And we’re also working on the U S safety team to develop other safety enhancements, including a standardized reporting form so that when pilots see drones, they can fill out all the appropriate information and perhaps we can start to learn something.

[00:48:21] From what’s going on out there. To learn more about these efforts from Austin and others in the industry. Please join us in this room in the ballroom at 2:00 PM we have a panel of, uh, aviation safety experts, including Los Angeles international airport, which many of us visited on the way here.

[00:48:37] Uh, and we would be delighted to inform you as to what we’re doing together and how all of you can help engage in that mission. We also released the elevating safety vision that we have for what we can do, the commitments we can take, as well as what the entire industry and drone community can do to help address safety and make sure that things like this do not become public narrative than instead we are addressing and solving the challenges that we have.

[00:49:02] And part of that, uh, that investigation in elevating safety. If you look at part two of it was a deep and broad look at what is really in this drone citing data. We looked at the three official main sources of information, the FAA drum citing database, the IASA, uh, citing database as well as the UK air products.

[00:49:20] And unfortunately, as we set out in the report, these were not informative, useful sources of information for us to try to figure out what to do next on aviation safety. And of course. There are actual reports of collisions. Those are not useful either to be found at least six reports of actual drones colliding with airplanes that turned out to be untrue.

[00:49:42] They weren’t drones, they were bats or birds or nothing at all. Here’s an example from New Zealand in March of 2018 a report that a drone caused a pilot to crash, and there are all kinds of dramatic pictures. About a year later after the investigation, it turned out wasn’t true. It wasn’t drone.

[00:49:57] It was a defect in the windshield. As Alan Levan pointed out in his tweet and Bloomberg and response to another, uh, drone collision. That was not true. This was the Aeromexico airliner. Uh, as he pointed out, the story that provided the factual answer, the real story of what happened with that airline or which is a radium collapse due to pressure, not a drone got one, 1000th the traffic of the original story.

[00:50:24] So we’re dealing with a thousand to one coverage of negative versus positive. And what’s the problem with that? Well, there’s two problems, and by the way, maybe some of these are honest mistakes. I can understand that things in the air look like drones. This is a bird that looks remarkably like a fan of Ford over the water.

[00:50:40] So these might be fixed and that’s understandable, but here are the problems with it. Number one, it’s demonizing the industry, right? We have a tough time when that’s the prevailing narrative, and that leads policymakers to make rules and regulations and restrictions that could impede all of your operations.

[00:50:54] Resulting in fewer lifesaving rescues because it’s harder and more restrictive to the use of technology, and you can’t use it in as many places. Number two, and I think most importantly, we don’t know what to do on safety if we don’t have facts. We don’t know what the real risks are. So these are distractions, right?

[00:51:11] The myths about what drones are doing on safety, security, privacy are leading to bad policy results. Yeah. We don’t shy away from actual risk. We understand there are risks out there that we need to address both as a As the leading company as well as an industry, and we’re happy to talk about them.

[00:51:28] So these are two actual collisions, data points that are very important. I’m sure you’re familiar with them. The black Hawk helicopter collision in New York city with the fandom for, I think about two years ago, we assisted in the NTSB investigation, and you might not know about this one, the a in Israel, a collision between an agricultural helicopter and a drone at second one.

[00:51:48] Those were both authorized compliant operations. They did not see each other. So it was an accident, and we know accidents happen, but maybe we can do something about real accidents. We also had these data points too. Videos uploaded to YouTube from people who were apologetic. You know, these, these were near misses.

[00:52:06] Um, in the first case, Hollywood, Florida, way too close to a helicopter as well as I, Agora falls in that second video. These were two data points that told us something. So four altogether showing real risk with evidence. And it told us we could do something about low altitude helicopter traffic.

[00:52:23] And that’s what led us to come in to ADS-B, what we call air sense in all of our drones above the 250 grand class. So we can actually make a difference to S to the safety situation. So here’s our mission. We on our policy team, there’s about nine of us, and it’s a global effort. We want to practically address the real concerns of government.

[00:52:43] We need to do that together. We have to get ahead of things. Also develop technology solutions to real problems and really advocate to protect your access to innovation. And that’s by advocating for policies that are based on facts, not on myths. We need that data. We need the evidence. We need to know what the goal is, what is the safety, security, and privacy goal.

[00:53:04] We will lead with solutions, but we need your help. We can’t do it together. So between now and the end of the year, I have three things I’d like you to do. First drunk. Join the network of drone enthusiasts also called node if you’re not already a member. This is supported by the Alliance for drone innovation as well as DJI.

[00:53:20] It’s a grassroots movement and platform. You put in your contact information when there’s a policy that comes up, whether the federal, state or local level, it provides a really easy mechanism for you to tell your story about what you are doing with drones and to advocate in favor of good policies or against those that might hurt your.

[00:53:37] Interests. Also, please comment on the FAS proposed remote ID rule that is supposed to come out in December. We very much support remote ID, but we need to make sure that the burdens and costs of doing remote ID on you are not too high and that your privacy is protected. Your operations are going to be part of remote ID in some way.

[00:53:57] You’re going to be identifying yourself. We want to make sure that that operation is your flying isn’t just pulled into a giant database somewhere. So please look at the rule, understand how it might impact you, and send a comment within 60 days to the FAA once that rule comes out, probably in December.

[00:54:13] And finally, if you haven’t done this already, please visit and write your own and write to your lawmakers. So if you have an enterprise drone program and you haven’t met with your city council, your mayor, your state legislative, someway member, your member of Congress, Senator, uh, please do that because we have a huge educational mission.

[00:54:31] To work on together, and we need to share all these great stories, not just inside this Airworks conference, which was wonderful, but also with the people who were making the policies that will impact you. So thank you very much. I would like to turn this over to Cynthia Lang, who’s going to show you and explain how the world’s most valuable industry is leveraging drone technology. Thanks.

Cynthia Huang, DJI

[00:54:53] Hi. Good morning everyone. It is my pleasure today to talk to you all about the oil and gas industry, 160 year old industry that impasse each and every single one of us on a daily basis. The oil and gasoline of speed today consists of over 200 companies worldwide, including giant corporations that most of us are familiar with, like shell, marathon, or ExxonMobil.

[00:55:25] This industry contributes an estimated $75 trillion. To the global GDP, and by dollar value is the largest industry in the world. Harry U S it is the fastest growing industry and supports over 10 million jobs while contributing to about 8% of the U S economy. Thanks to this rapid growth, the U S has become the world leader in oil and gas output, but despite that rapid growth and progress, the inherent dangers of the oil and gas industry still exist.

[00:55:58] Workers at the oil and gas industry are often subjected to dangerous equipment, volatile gases, and flammable liquids. In light of both the rapid growth and inherent dangerous, the oil and gas industry has collectively prioritize a culture of safety across all operational segments. Deborah Phillips from the American petroleum Institute said earlier in this year that safety has always been paramount to the natural gas.

[00:56:24] A little industry incorporating advanced technologies, materials and practices as they strive towards the industry wide goal of zero incidents. Because of this culture, oil and gas companies are aligning with DJI to adopt and scale new UAS based workflows that will immediately and permanently reduce hazardous man hours while also improving efficiency and quality of data collection for inspection disaster response purposes.

[00:56:51] This past year, our close collaboration with half a dozen of the world’s largest and most forward thinking companies have shed light on the growing in half of drones. And we have heard incredible accounts of how drones have aided and disaster response, reduce hazards, man hours, decrease costly downtime during inspections, and improve the quality and consistency of data collected leading to better and faster insights that actively empower and feed back into a culture of safety.

[00:57:20] As we continue to work with the oil and gas industry, we are working hand in hand with industry leaders to comprehensively improve the complete workflow from platforms and sensors, the data security and management to industry best practices. As I mentioned earlier by Yon and Brendan DJI has historically led and advancing safety features for drone plastics.

[00:57:43] These safety features directly feed into the safety first culture of the oil and gas industry. And we continue to align with our partners to enhance future product development. And as the oil and gas industry increases their adoption of drone technology, we recognize the industry’s need for known for more advanced data.

[00:58:00] And so we continue to support the development and integration of more special licenses such as Thermo and gas detection. And through our collaboration with industry leaders, we are working to provide complete end to end solutions for secure and efficient data management. This will, in turn, help our end users more seamlessly integrate drone technology into existing workflows.

[00:58:24] And ultimately we envision a future where to use of to reduce habits. Hazardous man hours in oil and gas is both an obvious and skillable step for We believe that working with industry leaders to define and implement industry best practices is a crucial foundational step in educating and empowering the entire industry to effectively and responsibly integrate drone technologies into their operations.

[00:58:52] With that in mind, it is my pleasure to share that our next two speakers. Are from the American petroleum Institute and marathon petroleum. We’re pleased to welcome these two industry leaders to the stage to share more on their insights, on best practices, and also the impact of realms that they see in oil and gas industry today.

[00:59:08] So to start, please join me in welcoming Susanne Lemieux from the, uh, Metro petroleum Institute. She is the manager of midstream and industry operations.

Suzanne Lemieux

[00:59:15] Suzanne Lemieux: [00:59:15] It’s a pleasure to be here again at air works. So, um, again, Suzanne Lemieux with the American petroleum Institute. I’m a manager in our midstream and industry operations group and which, um, I’m just going to give an overview about who ABI is, what we do, the challenging landscape that we see for drone adoption, but the incredible opportunities we see in the oil and gas industry and in some of the priorities that we have today and that we’ll have moving into the future.

[00:59:47] As regulations change, technology advances and we see more applications across our supply chain.

[00:59:59] So who is API? We are a trade association representing, uh, the breadth of the oil and gas industry from upstream, through midstream, through downstream. We’ve just had our a hundred year anniversary and we have been a standard study organization for the oil and gas industry worldwide since 1919.

[01:00:21] We have over 700 tech technical standards over 300 incorporated by regulation, which for us is an incredible way that we advanced safety collectively in our industry. Those standards are consensus based. They include regulators, interested stakeholders, member companies, nonmember companies, and others who can contribute to the technical and safety, um, requirements that are necessary to operate oil and gas.

[01:00:49] Safely and efficiently across the world. So we are accredited by the American national standards Institute, which gives us a very rigorous process, which is audited, that allows us to have a lot of confidence in the standards that we’re creating as an industry and also provides our regulators with confidence in that process.

[01:01:10] So it’s really all about creating safe standards that everyone can adapt. The like, um. Performance-based, not prescriptive standards. So these are really about guidelines for doing things that improve the safety of the oil and gas industry. As Cynthia mentioned, safety is our number one priority.

[01:01:29] These are complicated industrial operations with flammable, liquid, flammable gases, caustic chemicals. So safety is all we’re focused on in order to deliver these products to the American people. Some of the primary activities that we have are against standards. Plus policy development. So what I have, um, why I’m here is I staff our UAS policy working group.

[01:01:55] So we brought together members who are interested in Andrew using drones in their operations or looking forward to using drones in their operations to make sure that we are working with our regulators, working with Congress to pass regulations and legislation that advances the opportunities within our industry.

[01:02:16] So we’ve partnered with organizations in the commercial drone space. I’m on the UAS T. um, we’ve worked with AUVSI with DJI and others to make sure that collectively all these solutions are useful for our customers, our members. Cause in the end, it’s really about how you can use it safely and the data you get back and the value it provides.

[01:02:40] And so it is a collective effort. We do have a pretty large membership at API. We have over 625 members from large integrated companies such as ExxonMobil or BP, down to smallest service and supply companies that might be hauling water or sand out in an oil basin. So it’s a lot of diverse interests, but collectively we’re all working towards the same goal of safety.

[01:03:06] So these a little bit of an eye chart and they’re on our website. These are our models of our oil and natural gas supply chains, oil on the top and gas on the bottom in our industry. Upstream is that left hand piece of identification and exploration, how we find the oil and extract it. Then we move into the midstream space, which is transportation, which includes rail pipeline.

[01:03:33] A Marine transportation and trucking, then we move it on to either a processing facility or refinery. That’s the downstream. Um, which is things you’re probably all familiar with, refineries, your extremely large industrial complexes. There’s a lot of opportunities there that we see for drone application because of the complicated nature of those operations.

[01:03:56] Um, and then delivery to the end user, which is probably the most critical part of the supply chain because. It doesn’t have a value if it can’t be used. So the opportunities that we see are pretty vast across all of those different segments, whether it’s inspecting an offshore oil platform.

[01:04:14] Traditionally you would put someone in a harness and then he would, I want to say jump over the side. That’s probably not the technical term, but to do an under, uh, you know, inspect the parts of the platform that are not accessible from the, the top. That obviously is. Personnel safety risk. If you can use an alternative needs that doesn’t involve a human in that kind of scenario, that’s a great win.

[01:04:39] Probably a good return on investment, but certainly a great safety case in the midstream. We, what we aren’t able to do now or do in very limited, um, applications is pipeline right away to get inspections, which are required under law, are currently done in a fixed wing or a helicopter. With a pilot looking down at the right of way, not the most efficient way to do it, not the best way to to do data collection, of course, but without BB loss, the real return on investment is a little far off and how we’re able to do that efficiently and at low cost.

[01:05:13] And then in the downstream, as I said, I’d refine, or if you have to do a flare stack inspection, you typically have to shut down that operation. A person has to climb up the staff to do the visual inspection. With a drone, you could do a thermal inspection and never have to shut that operation unless you detect a problem.

[01:05:32] So those are just a few. We also see significant opportunities in emergency response as we saw in the response to Harvey, which affected our member company’s headquarters in Houston, as well as a lot of operations along the Houston ship channel. Drones were letting almost right away by the FAA.

[01:05:49] Surveys were done when waters were still. You know, hadn’t receded, and it really saved a tremendous amount of time to assess some of those assets. So there’s, there’s a lot of different things we see where we have a lot of interest across our membership. So in that membership, we also see a lot of diversity in the sophistication of the programs that they have today.

[01:06:12] Some are advanced, some have had traditional aviation units, some are still starting to look at what is the, you know. Opportunity, the ROI at the safety case and the risk. So what we’ve done as a, as a group was to create a guide for developing a program in the oil and gas industry. So this just sets kind of a baseline of expectation of what companies should be doing, or if you’re trying to sell it to one of our member companies, the expectation they might have of your operations.

[01:06:44] Do you have as Hopis, do you have contingency plans? Have you done a risk assessment. Do you have risk mitigation? What kind of program is it? Is it internal, external, hybrid? All the things that should be considered as you start to look at developing a program or even enhanced in your current program.

[01:07:01] These are things that different members have learned from other members, and we’ve put it all in one place as, um, a good, succinct plan and it’s available for free on our website. The link is at the end of the presentation, but you can feel free to ask before. And as I said, the audience is really not just our members, but people operate in the commercial space who are wanting to engage and think oil and gas in the street and may not have familiarity with the safety culture and our industry safety management systems, and just overall risk tolerance.

[01:07:39] So moving forward, what are our current priorities. As if everyone else, remote ID, UTM BB loss operations over people. I think everyone in the room can agree that these are the policies that need to unlock really full commercial integration of UAS in different operations around the world. But in the U S obviously as the American petroleum Institute, we’re focused on Congress and the FAA in the future.

[01:08:09] We are looking for long range flights, not just over pipelines, but in some of the shale place such as the Permian in West Texas, which is extremely large. Um, you know, you can remove a lot of hazards that people, one of the biggest hazards that we’ve seen in an area like the Permian is driving hours.

[01:08:29] So if you can take those personnel off the road and use a drone instead, you’re getting better data, better efficiency, and you’re, again, reducing risks. High quality sensors still need to be developed for some of the technical applications we have with different gases and emissions and leaks as we try and improve our environmental footprint, standardized datasets for specific applications.

[01:08:53] We’ve seen that there’s some challenges receiving data from some of the drones. Is it useful in the way it’s received? Has it been processed correctly? Is it in the format that you traditionally used to do those assessments. So just some advances in technology. We become the world’s leader in oil and gas production through technological advancement and efficiency.

[01:09:14] And so we see drones contributing to that in the long run. And with that, I will hand it over to Greg Aldrich with marathon pipeline. Who is the UAS process leader? Do you have a handy Greg

Greg Aldrich

[01:09:36] Hello everyone. I’m Greg Aldrich with the marathon pipeline. Uh, I don’t know about you folks, but after I saw the, the Lego drone, I’m going to and hopped on Amazon and Amazon. I ordered one for my kid. I’d really want her to put that together.

[01:09:51] So I’m going to talk about how we build an enterprise drone program in marathon pipeline. We’re a part of marathon petroleum company. So I’m going to give you a little bit of an overview of what our company does. We’ve started as the Ohio old company in 1880 and 87. So we’ve been around well over 100 years.

[01:10:07] As of today, we have 16 refineries in the U S and which means we’re the largest refiner in the U S including, uh, two refineries in California, one in LA, and another up North and Martinez marathon pipeline has over 7,000 miles of pipeline regulated pipeline. Um, but in addition to railcars and Marine barges and moved products and crude all up and down our nation’s waterways and products, terminals where transports big trucks, pickup product and delivering it to gas stations and other users.

[01:10:39] This is all the brain energy, that consumer and the safest, most efficient way possible. I’m going to move on to how we started, how we started our drone program and pipeline. Drone art. Drone usage really started as a grassroots movement. With simple, high impact missions.

[01:10:58] We started with loops. We started with one drone and one pilot. That was me, by the way. I’m just trying to find ways that we were able to, to improve the way that we handled our business. So if there was an incident, a, an inspection where we were, for example, running a helicopter. We might be able to replace that with a drone.

[01:11:19] Then one saved money and keep people out of harm’s way by keeping them from having to be up in a helicopter and taking pictures out the window with their iPhone. Right. Today, we now have 32 technician pilots and 33 aircraft. We started out with those, I’m sorry. Uh, we, we started with the, off the shelf models a of four, um, again, one pilot and one drone to execute those simple missions.

[01:11:50] The goal has always been to extract real value from the drones, and we did that by making the drone just another tool in the tool box. So we don’t have any full time pilots. We have technicians that we’ve given them another tool to help them and do in their jobs. Once a technician is fully trained and ready to go, there’s no need for them to request special company permission to fly.

[01:12:10] They just grab that tool from, from their truck, and they’d go and complete their jobs. They have the knowledge and the tools to use the drones to help them to do their job as safer and faster than ever before. We created an internal training program in order to get our technicians ready to go.

[01:12:26] Once we realize the impact drone would have in our operations, we knew we would need to start scaling up. Starting with training. We developed our own class to show our new pilots how to operate their drones and not only within the regulations, but also according to a marathon requirement. At the end of the basic course, students have been performance verified and they’re ready to go out and independently fly drones safely.

[01:12:48] We have a flight operations manual. Our pilots get started based on that training, and then during their ongoing missions, they can refer to an operations manual to tell them exactly what marathon requires of them. This has become a standard document that we base all of our operations throughout our organization.

[01:13:04] Uh, things like a checklist, what checklist to follow at what time and what to do in an emergency are contained inside our operations manual. And these, these documents that we’ve been creating are becoming a part of our company standards. So as you know, drones are really relatively new thing happening.

[01:13:24] And as we write these documents, whatever documents you’re creating in your organization today, it’s likely that they will become your organization standards. Later on because they don’t exist yet. You are starting exactly what’s going to be the future. I’m going to tell you about a use case for drones and refining a, as Suzanne mentioned, uh, flares are using in refineries and they’re a safety device in a, in an operational unit.

[01:13:50] So anytime that refineries in operation, the flare must be working properly. What that means is if we have an indication of a problem with a flare, we must inspect that to determine the integrity of that flare for the safety of our people.

[01:14:05] Video play? Yes, the video play good. This is a thermal video of a flair, and in this situation there was a problem with the indication of a pilot light operation. So if you’re familiar with a pilot light, it starts the fire in case you put a fuel to it. So we had an indication of a problem that two out of the three of the pilots were not working on this flare.

[01:14:27] And in the past we would have, would’ve had to take down the entire unit, and that takes a couple of days. It’s not a quick operation. And then we would have to inspect it by putting a person in a basket hanging from a crane and hoist them up to take a look at that flair. And then after that we can reenergize, which takes a couple more days and huge amounts of energy to bring everything up back up to temperature.

[01:14:49] And using a thermal camera, we’re able to to look at this video and determine that all three flares were operational without having to do any of that.

[01:15:00] Let’s go ahead and go on to Cynthia and she’ll finish up.

Cynthia Huang, DJI

[01:15:12] Thank you. Great, and thank you Suzanne, and thank you everyone for being part of your work’s 2019.

We are truly honored to provide this forum for all of us to connect, and we hope you’re all inspired to continue to push together to advance and grow this industry. We still have a ton of amazing sessions and panels throughout the rest of today and tomorrow, so please continue to network and learn and know that each and every single one of you are contributing to the future of continued progress and impact of rooms in our world.

[01:15:43] Thank you.

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Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo