The annual Indy 500 race took place last weekend, and local public safety agencies deployed their fleets to keep the surrounding areas safe. Pilots from the Speedway Police Department, Indianapolis Metro Police Department, Indianapolis Fire, and Wayne Township Fire Department all deployed drones to patrol and manage crowds throughout race weekend.
Drones were operated using the DroneSense software platform, which allows first responders to live-stream footage into various command centers.
“With the Indy 500 being one of the largest events for attendance in the world, providing overwatch operations is very challenging,” said Ron Shelnutt, police officer with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department.
Agencies involved in the response obtained a special exemption from the FAA’s national security flight restrictions above the event, for purposes of keeping the crowds, drivers, and race personnel safe.
The Indy 500 marks the second time drones and the DroneSense software platform were used to protect a large scale event. Earlier this year, DroneSense was deployed with teams from Skyfire Consulting to cover the NFL’s championship game in Atlanta.