Louisville wants a fleet of drones to survey areas after shootings

Kentucky's biggest city pitched this idea to a UAV-funding federal program.

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Kypros via Getty Images
Kypros via Getty Images

Earlier this week, the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky told reporters that he wants the city to field a fleet of drones that automatically survey areas after guns are fired. The city would detect firearm discharges using its existing ShotSpotter system, WDRB reported, and immediately send the UAVs to the scene, potentially before emergency responders are even called. But this isn't coming out of nowhere: Louisville could just be the first of over 300 cities that have applied to a federal program that provides funding for local governments that are trying to start their own drone programs.

Cities had to apply for the FAA and DOT's US Unmanned Aerial System Integration Pilot Program by the end of last November, but of the hundreds of applicants, only five will be chosen. So far, only Louisville is proposing this particular use for a drone fleet, according to Gizmodo.

But the city's mayor and civic innovation chief believe a host of UAVs buzzing in to photograph or video record a location and leaving thereafter would be less of a privacy violation than blanketing the city in security cameras -- and be cheaper, too. Louisville won't know if its pitch will be be accepted for the program for a couple months, according to WDRB.

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