We actually like droning on.

By: Dave Boerger

Learn about the many ways Verizon utilizes drones and the rules we all need to follow when using them.

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Did you know that some of the best pilots never leave the ground? That’s because here at Verizon, we pilot drones for a variety of jobs to improve the accuracy, efficiency and safety of our work. On today’s Up To Speed, we look at some of these use cases and where this leading edge technology is headed.

Eyes in the sky

One group that has found drones valuable is the Verizon Response Team. “For us on the VRT, drones provide a level of situational awareness that very few other tools have the capability to provide,” said Crisis Response Team Manager Chris Sanders. “That could involve setting up a temporary network in an area where there is none, or giving eyes in the sky to search-and-rescue teams.”

One common scenario involves sending a drone to inspect our many hundreds of antenna towers. The drone circles the equipment, taking dozens of pictures which are processed by software to create a 3D model that can identify issues not visible from the ground.

Come fly with us.

Do you or your team have a need for a drone? First consult the Verizon Drone Handbook where you’ll find our standards for program use and pilot requirements, among other things. “If you want to get an idea of what you need to be able to do, it’s going to facilitate your adoption,” said Dustin Schocken, Manager of Drone Safety & Standards. “It’s going to protect you and help you comply with federal regulations. If you have a need to use drones but you don’t know where to start, this is your easy button.”

The handbook is the result of many hours of research and discussion. “What Verizon is doing is creating a program of standardization and safety that sets the bar for other companies in the space,” said Chris.

Building towards a brighter future.

While the current work with drones is already offering enormous benefits, it’s likely that the best is yet to come. “It’s the things that we want to do later — the really advanced use cases — that’s all going to be based on how well we’re able to align and comply with rules now,” said Dustin. “This is the crawl phase. Then later we can walk and after that we can run. And the run phase is where I get really excited.”

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About the author(s):

Dave Boerger is a part of the Verizon Corporate Communications team and a regular contributor to Up To Speed. He's a recovering marketer and sitcom writer.

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