MCKINLEY PARK — If a Chicago alderman has his way, the city could someday see drones buzzing through the skies as part of an effort to keep students safe as they walk to school.
“We could use the help.!” Ald. George Cardenas (12th) tweeted, along with an article from The Telegraph outlining ways the remote-controlled, unmanned aerial vehicles — commonly known as drones — have been used outside of military actions. “Why not use drones in safe passage.??”
During a follow-up phone interview, Cardenas said “there is no doubt technology is migrating from military use. … It’s going to take time to find those uses in an urban environment. It is, however, the future and I think people will want to take that leap. I think eventually we’re going to have to look at this technology.”
But Matt Waite, a journalism professor at the University of Nebraska, believes using drones to patrol the city’s streets isn’t a good idea. Waite is involved in an effort that uses drones in news gathering and documents the experiments by the school’s Drone Journalism Lab on a blog.
“There’s still a big safety issue, especially with the small ones,” he said. “They have a tendency to crash from time to time. So now you have something with spinning blades over the top of children that could fall out of the sky. That would seem unwise.”