The 2022 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is an IndyCar motor race held on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. An institution that dates back to 1985 and hosts an international audience, the Firestone Grand Prix served as the season opener of the 2022 IndyCar Series. The 100-lap race takes place on a temporary course, utilizing downtown streets and one runway of Albert Whitted Airport.
The 2022 starting grid was the largest in the history of the event, with 26 entries, including 25 full-time cars and drivers. Spectator numbers were up 49%, with an estimate of over 200,000 in attendance.
St. Petersburg Police are charged with maintaining safety and security during the event. This includes on-site event control, camera monitoring of the race site and waterways near the track, daily sweeping of the venue and coordinating with assisting agencies including the FBI, US Coast Guard and nearby fire, rescue and police departments.
In addition, St. Petersburg PD needed to secure the airspace surrounding the event, which is a designated no-fly zone during the race. Drone usage is increasing and a drone that falls onto the racetrack could pose a deadly hazard to racers traveling at high speeds, as well as to attendees.
The Firestone Grand Prix is an international event, equivalent to the Super Bowl or World Series for the St. Petersburg community. It requires a strong police presence to ensure the safety of our citizens and of all participants in the race. Dedrone was the ideal partner to help us provide an ‘eye in the sky’ and protect against illegal drones in the no-fly zone. We are proud to be the first police department in the US to deploy such sophisticated technology, as part of our larger commitment to ensuring that our entire community remains safe and secure.
The IndyCar Firestone Grand Prix is a 100-lap race spanning 1.8 miles that includes 14 turns throughout the streets of downtown St. Petersburg and a section of runway at the Albert Whitted Airport. Illegal drones pose a potential distraction and threat to drivers and fans alike. St. Petersburg police and city officials wanted to prevent drones from interrupting operations, taking illegal footage, or injuring racers or spectators. The nature and location of the race required mobile airspace security measures to ensure race day activities were safe from drones.
Dedrone detects, identifies, and locates nearly 300 different drone types. The DedroneRapidResponse offers Dedrone’s powerful technology in a mobile platform via an 1800lb, 30’ to 50’ tower that can be towed and maneuvered on a trailer using an SUV or truck. DedroneRapidResponse pinpoints the drone while the camera gives insights into its load. The technology also pinpoints the location of the pilot, and both are displayed on the Dedrone interface.
DedroneRapid Response can detect a drone as soon as it is turned on, even while warming up and establishing its bearings. This gives security teams a significant headstart on a pilot about to send a drone into the no-fly zone.
DedroneRapidReponse is deployable in less than 30 minutes time, with a range of 5km detection and is the only mobile multi-layered solution with two cameras to track multiple drones simultaneously. It uses cloud-enabled software for easy access across locations and officers. Multiple trailers can even be networked to deliver optimal drone security for larger public events. See DedroneRapidResponse in action.
Dedrone technology is in use around the world at venues including airports, stadiums and prisons, corporations and much more.
DedroneRapidResponse is the first AI-powered multi-layer, mobile drone detection unit and the St. Petersburg police department is the first law enforcement department in the country to deploy this mobile airspace security solution.
During the event, Dedrone’s technology was displayed directly in the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) at St. Pete’s headquarters downtown, with the ability to message alerts direct to officers in the field. Dedrone and the St Pete’s PD were able to collaborate on pilot location and enforce the no-fly zone during operations.