|Daejeon deploys drones to reach any location in the city within two minutes / Photo Credit: railway fx (via Shutterstock)|
The South Korean city of Daejeon is testing a drone service to make emergency response actions more effective, said Sarah Wray of SmartCitiesWorld, a news portal dedicated to publishing content on cities around the world. Presently, it takes about eight minutes to reach an incident. Daejeon has implemented a five-minute grace period as the “golden time” for emergency teams. They should arrive within that time frame to have the best chance of creating a positive outcome at the scene.
Daejeon is using a drone to reach any location in the city within two minutes. The drone takes real-time video footage and transmits it to the Smart City Integration Center, allowing emergency services to be well-prepared once they arrive at the scene with their treatment or action plans. Not only that, but the drones also gather data about air quality, parking availability, potential fire hazards, and the like. Weather information determines whether it’s safe for the operator to deploy the drones. Dong-Gyu Choi, Smart City Integration Centre manager, explained, “We are collecting data into a data hub to analyse it. Based on this data, we diagnose urban problems and try to solve them.”
Daejeon’s drone service is within the country’s aviation regulations as well as the city’s drone safety guidelines, Choi said. Special measures are applied when public institutions fly drones in urgent situations such as search and rescue missions, patient evacuation, and fire response. The idea behind the drone service is from Daejeong’s Living Lab initiative, where citizens identify the city’s problems and find ways to address them. They said that “faster emergency services” were one of their priorities along with finding parking spaces and improving air quality. After the technical pilot, city leaders will relay the initiative in detail to citizens, encouraging them to share their thoughts on Daejeong’s drones.
The Citizen Mayors Program provides a platform for individuals to brainstorm and debate ideas They can also help shape local policy. Young Tae Cho, Head of the Smart Urban Research Center, Land & Housing Institute, said that people are the epicenter of emergency situations. “If we match the distribution of population in the city and understand what type of people are where, and when and behaviour patterns, we can predict the future," he asserted.