Drones Patrol the Skies in Tokyo’s Marunouchi District

As cities grow, so do security concerns. Police can’t be everywhere so governments are increasingly turning to technology to help fill the gap. In the very near future, it may be artificial intelligence taking the lead in keeping watch over major cities. Two companies recently tested unmanned drones over Japan to help prove they can be trusted to patrol densely populated areas.

Japan-based Terra Drone teamed with real estate giant Mitsubishi Estate to test patrol drones over Tokyo’s largest business district. Unmanned drones took to the sky and navigated between buildings in Marunouchi. The testing was meant to demonstrate the surveillance and logistic capabilities of drones while flying over a dense city.

Drones Sent Real-Time Footage to Control Center

The drones captured aerial footage and relayed it back to a control room in which analysts were able to spot potential traffic problems and security threats. This allowed them to create solutions in real-time.

“The test flight using UTM for drones was organized as part of the ‘Marunouchi UrbanTech Voyager’ initiative by Mitsubishi Estate. The aim of the UrbanTech Voyager project is to transform the Marunouchi district into a business and innovation hub by utilizing urban-development-friendly artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, and robotics,” said Terra Drone in a post.

Tokyo Drone Patrol - YellRobot
credit: Terra Drone

Tokyo Drones Showcased Security Ability

While drone use is quite common in monitoring Japan’s mountainous areas and remote islands, it hasn’t really taken hold in crowded cities. According to Terra Drone, the demonstration was aimed to showcase how a robust UTM system can make it possible to not only avoid collisions but also to realize the efficiency of logistics and security operations. While promising, the company doesn’t see full-scale drone use in urban areas before 2022.

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