US forces drone manufacturers to include Remote ID, a system that automatically reports location and speed

New drone models marketed in the US as of 16 December 2022 must have “Standard Remote ID” certification, implying the presence of an automatic mechanism for real-time transmission of location coordinates, altitude and speed of travel, along with a unique code to identify that user.

Even though the law is only valid in the US, the measure taken by the Federal Aviation Administration could easily be replicated in other regions of the world, such as the European Union. And since drone manufacturers have to comply with these new provisions by making substantial changes to the hardware side, it is easier to add such equipment to all newly manufactured devices, leaving it disabled in regions where the requirement has not yet been transposed into law.

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US authorities want to be able to quickly identify any drones

The first changes to the US drone regulations came into effect on 16 December and require drone manufacturers to incorporate the ability to transmit the location of the drone and its owner in real time, along with speed, altitude and registration number, so that they can be easily identified by authorities.

These rules only apply to drones weighing over 250 grams, so models such as the DJI Mavic Mini and DJI Mini 2 are exempt for now. Instead, drones and other radio-controlled flying devices that exceed the imposed weight limit must be registered with the FAA in order to be used legally, linking the unique identification code to the real identity of the owner. In addition, owners will have to pass a knowledge test, certifying that they have the skills necessary to operate such equipment in a manner that does not endanger the safety of other people or their property.

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The fact that the new rules apply only to drones heavier than 250 grams will likely prompt manufacturers to invest more in small drones.

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