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Experiment tests guiding people by drone in Tokyo’s Shinjuku area

The use of a drone to help guide people who have trouble returning home after a disaster was tested Wednesday in Tokyo’s Shinjuku area, in a joint trial involving members of the business community, academia and a local government.

The experiment was planned by Sompo Japan Insurance Inc., which has its head office in Shinjuku, and Kogakuin University, which has a campus there. The Shinjuku Ward government and other organizations were also involved.

The experiment was conducted on the premise that an earthquake had occurred measuring upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7.

A drone flies near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office in Shinjuku Ward on Wednesday.

The drone was remotely operated from the university’s campus. It took off from Shinjuku Central Park, and made such announcements over its speaker as “If you have nowhere to go, please stay where you are.”

Footage taken from the sky was sent to staff at the university and the Shinjuku Ward Office.

Shinjuku is lined with high-rise buildings and has busy shopping districts, so many people are likely to be in the streets after a large-scale disaster occurs. Footage recorded from the sky will be used to ascertain the situation.

Masahiro Murakami, a professor of urban disaster prevention at Kogakuin University’s school of architecture, was one of those participating in the project. “We want to create a system in which local organizations can share information and disperse evacuees when a disaster occurs,” Murakami said.

Published : February 26, 2021

By : The Japan News/ANN