The development of drone technology in the last decade has provided public safety agencies with increased flexibility in support of first responder operations. Public safety drones are capable of enhancing situational awareness for responding officers while keeping them safe, improving accuracy when documenting crime and collision scenes, increasing transparency and promoting accountability. However, specifically within Law Enforcement, the administrative overhead associated with organizing, tagging and uploading drone photos and video into evidence management systems places an outsized burden on officers and staff after executing a drone mission.
The time spent physically pulling SD cards from drones, manually moving photo and video files to a computer to organize, and then individually tagging and uploading photos to a digital evidence management system consumes valuable time which would be much better spent on casework.
As part of Skydio’s mission to make the world more productive, creative and safe with autonomous flight, this is a problem we’re excited to tackle directly.
In March of this year, we announced a strategic partnership with Axon, the global leader in connected public safety technologies, including a joint roadmap of integrations between Skydio and Axon products. Today, we’re excited to announce that the first of those integrations is available to select agencies via an early access program. Law enforcement agencies working with Axon for evidence management and flying Skydio drones now have the ability to automatically upload photos and video to Axon Evidence. The workflow is as simple as plugging the vehicle into power to recharge after a mission, and the drone will automatically start uploading media over WiFi. But let’s take an even closer look at the solution we are introducing.
Powerful Integration, Simple Setup
Connecting Axon Evidence to Skydio is straightforward. All that is required is administrator access to Axon Evidence in order to create a new Axon Air API Access Client.
The credentials for that API client are then added to Skydio Cloud, along with station WiFi credentials. From that point forward, once you plug your Skydio drone into power back at the station, the drone will automatically and securely connect to the station’s WiFi network and automatically upload any new photos or video recorded to Axon Evidence, tagging them with the pilot’s name and additional data necessary for entry into evidence, ensuring chain of custody, and completely removing the administrative overhead from officers and staff, allowing them to focus their time and attention on what matters most.
Documenting Automobile Crash Scenes
Let’s walk through an example where this integration will be valuable. Automobile accidents are complex and can take hours to properly document. From heightened emotions to traffic backed up for miles, it is stressful to accurately document everything in a timely manner. Cleaning up and making sure to carefully document the scene is important for everyone involved. Accident responders currently use laser scanners and photography to document the scene. However, these methods can take a large amount of time and require personnel trained in surveying, who may not always be available when an accident occurs. A better, more efficient and accurate method is to use a Skydio drone. Skydio drones are simple to use and can quickly document a large scene with images and video from all angles, because pilots can get closer to the scene with safety and confidence thanks to the autonomous flight capabilities. Once these images are captured by the drone, all that the responding officers need to do when they get back to the station is connect the Skydio drone, and their evidence will be seamlessly uploaded to Axon Evidence via WiFi for the follow-up analysis.
Only the beginning
In the coming months, the Skydio and Axon teams will continue to work together on a joint roadmap to provide even more capability to your agency. Future integration with Axon Respond will make it possible for command center staff to get real-time access to the live stream feed from your Skydio fleet in the same simple way that they already do today with body cameras, and integration with Axon Air will make it simple for your agency to track pilot time and vehicle usage across your fleet. We’re excited to continue to work closely with the Axon team to bring unprecedented utility and value to your agency’s drone operations.
If you are ready to join the next phase for public safety intelligence and want to learn more about our joint solution with Axon, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Also remember that Skydio can help you scale your drone program through our Five As framework, which you can review here.
To learn about Skydio’s commitment to responsible use of drone technology, please refer to Skydio’s Engagement and Responsible Use Principles, as well as the “Five Cs: Principles for the Responsible Use of Drones by Public Safety Agencies”, which Skydio helped develop in partnership with DRONERESPONDERS.