Transcending the realm of science fiction, Autonomous vehicles have emerged as a real possibility. With the ever-increasing use to augment the security system and tackle emergency situations, they are utilized across all sectors.
Recently, the Sonoma Valley Fire District also purchased a small unmanned aircraft system with cameras and thermal imaging capabilities. The program is still being built and the department’s members are undergoing training to get licensed from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Considering the effectiveness of autonomous vehicles, the fire marshals of Sonoma Valley also acknowledged their potential efficacy.
“There are some areas on state lands that are remote and areas that are not populated that are very difficult to get in. This gives our members an opportunity to survey the area. We have two certified pilots and four additional members preparing for their FAA exams,” said Trevor Smith, a fire marshal of Sonoma Valley Fire District.
These vehicles are deployed as a response mechanism before the personnel can even respond or conduct an initial site assessment. As they cover the difficult-to-reach areas, reduce staff numbers and costs with other key advantages, autonomous vehicles are deemed as an ideal solution to tackling the problems and limitations faced by other surveillance methods.
Additionally, Autonomous vehicles allow the department to operate under hazardous and emergency conditions, assessing situations from afar without putting anyone’s life in danger. To monitor the emergency situations and prepare for response plans, companies like Yuneec and Wynyard Group offer autonomous vehicles to overcome the emerging challenges.
As per the fire operators of Sonoma Valley Fire District, drones are highly beneficial in search-and-rescue situations, helping to locate lost hikers or drop a life vest to a struggling swimmer. They also play a major role in helping firefighters locate fire inside a building. In case of wildfires, they can get a better view of the direction it is moving.
The potential efficacy of these autonomous vehicles makes them an ideal solution and revolutionary approach for handling emergency situations and crises efficiently.