Apple Park drone footage may be ending, with security forces seeking to cease flights

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2017
The latest drone footage from Apple park shows the march of progress towards completion, but it is not clear how many more videos there will be of the campus. with Apple reportedly cracking down on drone pilots in the area.




The latest footage from Apple Park shows a glimpse inside the now unclad Steve Jobs Theater, work underway in the atrium, the historic barn re-assembled completely, and the manmade pond nearly ready for water. Additionally, a large amount of progress has been made on the visitor's center, showing a roof resembling the Chicago remodeled store.





AppleInsider has also learned that there is a security force intended to halt these flyovers. Another drone pilot claims that they were stopped by a hired security guard who has the express purpose of shutting down drone flights over the campus.

At present, Apple Park is not listed as a "no-fly" area by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, nor could AppleInsider locate any filing for the "Controlled Airspace" status at this time. Current FAA guidance requires drones to keep 360 feet away from structures, and mandates that the user must maintain visual line-of-sight to the device at all times.

Navigable airspace above 500 feet is limited to manned airplanes. FAA guidance allows drones to fly below an altitude 400 feet to ground level, but there are court rulings from the mid-20th century that suggest that a landowner owns up to 365 feet -- so a legal battle is imminent.

Apple could have an avenue for restrictions, if they can demonstrate that the drones are causing a nuisance, or are violating one of California's privacy laws. Drones landing or being flown from private property can result in a trespassing charge.





On Feb. 22, Apple officially named the "spaceship" campus under construction. The entire facility is now called "Apple Park," with the 20-foot tall and 165 foot in diameter glass auditorium honoring one of the founders of the company and named the "Steve Jobs Theater."

Before the massive construction effort started, the area was Hewlett Packard's land, and was essentially completely paved over. Apple's demand for trees is reportedly putting pressure on the local market, forcing contractors to source from outside California. The final tree count is expected to approach 9,000, with apple, apricot, cherry, and persimmon trees dotting the landscape.

An environmentally-friendly design was paramount to Jobs's vision, and Apple's related Phase 2 project adds additional workspace adjacent to the main headquarters, and includes a small data center powered by the on-site solar farm, fuel cells, and other sources of renewable energy.

A new micro-grid installed on the campus is reportedly capable of delivering 17 megawatts of power from solar alone, and handling about 75 percent of the facility's power requirements. The solar installation is supplemented by Bloom Energy-provided fuel cells, similar to those installed at the North Carolina data center.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,647member
    This is totally understandable.

    I am guessing the Samsung drone factory is being shut down as we speak. 
    Solineo-techlkrupplostkiwistantheman
  • Reply 2 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member
    If they have nothing filed with the FAA can their security guards do anything but ask nicely for them to stop? So far I'm not seeing any legal recourse in place that would prevent drone operators so long as they aren't starting on Apple property, especially if they're maintaining an altitude about 365 feet and below 400 feet when over Apple's property.

    This is totally understandable.

    I am guessing the Samsung drone factory is being shut down as we speak. 
    It was bound to happen, and I'm surprised there isn't anything filed at this point. There's just too much at risk from a falling iron to hit people, especially when there is a gathering, and solar panels.

    sog35 said:
    This is just a fact of life now days.

    Another shitty thing because of Terrorist.
    I don't think this has anything to do with terrorism, and I'm not sure how flying a drone would be more effective for a terrorist then, say, setting an explosive charge on the hydrogen power cells that are placed right along the highway. it's not like the campus itself is difficult to access.
    edited July 2017 mwhitestantheman
  • Reply 3 of 32
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,029member
    sog35 said:
    This is just a fact of life now days.

    Another shitty thing because of Terrorist.
    Uh, there are many more obvious reasons besides "Terrorist" that Apple wouldn't want fucking daily drones taking HD spy videos of its employees in a fully active campus to be broadcast to the world, and analyzed and scrutinized. This has nothing to do with terrorism. The comfort and privacy of thousands of employees is more important than your voyeurism. These videos were interesting and historical once the campus was being built, but they don't have a need anymore. But this kind of common sense escapes you, just like it does in every single other one of your posts, amazingly.
    edited July 2017 fraciSalmanPakpscooter63
  • Reply 4 of 32
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,902member
    "Current FAA guidance requires drones to keep 360 feet away from structures, and mandates that the user must maintain visual line-of-sight to the device at all times."
    "
    Navigable airspace above 500 feet is limited to manned airplanes. FAA guidance allows drones to fly below an altitude 400 feet to ground level ..."

    By law, this means fly-overs would only be allowed in a narrow 40 ft area and I see them a lot closer than 360-ft. I presume the 360-ft means on all side, including the top. All that has to happen is for Apple to give permission to one drone company to do fly-overs (and pay them for the footage) and then get legal restrictions on everyone else. I really don't think people are going to put up with an Amazon-like drone package delivery service for all the obvious reasons. If the courts say we own 365-ft of "air space" above our house (just like in Burlesque), it will be difficult for any delivery service to safely fly to houses without dropping straight down onto the house. I also wonder what will happen with homeowner's insurance policies when these are allowed. 
    stantheman
  • Reply 5 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,756member
    The vlogger Casey Niestat was/is under investigation by the FAA for flying quadrocopters in New York City (he said so in one of his recent videos). There is likely ample video evidence in these flyover videos for the quadropcopter pilot to be similarly investigated or charged.
    lostkiwibb-15
  • Reply 6 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member
    Maybe it's sour grapes on my part, but the drone videos become less and less impressive every month. That isn't to say that I still don't enjoy seeing the progress or that the drone operators are doing a less impressive job—quite the contrary,, the regulars have vastly improved in their flying, panning, footage, and editing over the years and I applaud them for their time and money put into the equipment and videos—but there is considerably less to see with each month now that the structures all but complete. Most, if not all, of the trees have been planted and most major construction vehicles are gone. Now it's mostly just planting shrubbery and getting most of the minor details in place in the exterior.

    I recently went back to watch some of the razing of HP's facility in 2014 and start of the main structure in 2015, which required digging down several stories for the underground parking garage (and offices?). That undertaking blew me away. I looked for the giant sheets of glass being put in place but couldn't find a specific video of that installation. Hopefully Apple will have something for us.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    svanthemsvanthem Posts: 19member
    So far I'm not seeing any legal recourse in place that would prevent drone operators so long as they aren't starting on Apple property, especially if they're maintaining an altitude about 365 feet and below 400 feet when over Apple's property.

    If the flights are originating from a surrounding property within 360 feet of structures aren't they illegal from the get-go?
    randominternetpersonzoetmbanantksundaram
  • Reply 8 of 32
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,538member
    I'm sure there was this bandwagon of me too folks who saw Matt and Dunkin create these amazing drone videos and thought I should do that too. I could only imagine there being 10-20 drones flying over the campus any one point in time. As a construction worker and/or an Apple employee working there its gotta be quite annoying. The 1 or 2 here or there was fine but I bet its kinda gotten out of hand with the amount of drone videos being filmed. 

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple may only let Dunkin and Matt do drone video footage, or even allow no one anymore to do this as the project is wrapping up slowly. Honestly, except for more trees being planted, what else is there to see on the exterior? Unless there's some kind of footage of the interior being built, things will really start to look like nothing is being done because there isn't a lot to do on the exterior. 
  • Reply 9 of 32
    NemWanNemWan Posts: 105member
    The drone issue is bigger than Apple. Laws about navigable airspace aren't up-to-date with remote-piloted or autonomous drones. Imagine when technology advances a little further and a drone can be as small, light, and inconspicuous as a bird or insect (or even actual cyborg birds and insects), and there's no longer a noise or safety argument to be made but only privacy and property-rights questions. The drone might not even be observed or known about until footage is released. Then it's a First Amendment question — you got the footage without bothering anybody but it will bother them to release it. With recent news about successfully storing and retrieving data in DNA it might be possible in some future to have a fully biological "drone" whose memory reproduces with the organism, making distribution unstoppable.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 10 of 32
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,821member
    sog35 said:
    This is just a fact of life now days.

    Another shitty thing because of Terrorist.
    That excuse is pretty weak. Go to Google Earth and get a better view of things. You don't even have to leave your house to do it. Using that excuse and restricting people's freedoms is exactly what terrorists wants. You're playing their game.
    zoetmb
  • Reply 11 of 32
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    Soli said:
    Maybe it's sour grapes on my part, but the drone videos become less and less impressive every month. That isn't to say that I still don't enjoy seeing the progress or that the drone operators are doing a less impressive job—quite the contrary,, the regulars have vastly improved in their flying, panning, footage, and editing over the years and I applaud them for their time and money put into the equipment and videos—but there is considerably less to see with each month now that the structures all but complete. Most, if not all, of the trees have been planted and most major construction vehicles are gone. Now it's mostly just planting shrubbery and getting most of the minor details in place in the exterior.

    I recently went back to watch some of the razing of HP's facility in 2014 and start of the main structure in 2015, which required digging down several stories for the underground parking garage (and offices?). That undertaking blew me away. I looked for the giant sheets of glass being put in place but couldn't find a specific video of that installation. Hopefully Apple will have something for us.
    Um...I visited Foster+Partners London Riverside office last summer and was told that every aspect of the construction was being documented by multiple film crews because there is so much original construction work going on. 
    Its invaluable PR and strokes egos to boot.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 12 of 32
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,605member
    svanthem said:
    If the flights are originating from a surrounding property within 360 feet of structures aren't they illegal from the get-go?
    Maybe, but how would they get stopped even if illegal, at least without a lot of effort.

    If it weren't California, maybe Apple employees could take up skeet-shooting at break time? :wink: 

    NemWan said:
    The drone issue is bigger than Apple. Laws about navigable airspace aren't up-to-date with remote-piloted or autonomous drones. Imagine when technology advances a little further and a drone can be as small, light, and inconspicuous as a bird or insect...

    Then it's a First Amendment question — you got the footage without bothering anybody but it will bother them to release it.
    Yes. That's a problem that is going to have to be dealt with for drones, phones, watch-cameras, etc. Heck, it probably won't be long until the gov't just assigns a drone to each person, the way things are going.

    My gosh, contrast this with the license requirements around stock photography. I can't even use a photo that has a person or landmark without a bunch of paperwork.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    NemWan said:
    The drone issue is bigger than Apple. Laws about navigable airspace aren't up-to-date with remote-piloted or autonomous drones. Imagine when technology advances a little further and a drone can be as small, light, and inconspicuous as a bird or insect (or even actual cyborg birds and insects), and there's no longer a noise or safety argument to be made but only privacy and property-rights questions. The drone might not even be observed or known about until footage is released. Then it's a First Amendment question — you got the footage without bothering anybody but it will bother them to release it. With recent news about successfully storing and retrieving data in DNA it might be possible in some future to have a fully biological "drone" whose memory reproduces with the organism, making distribution unstoppable.

    "Only" privacy and property-rights questions?  That's a pretty enormous "only."  It wasn't that long ago that property rights extended down to the center of the Earth and up into the stratosphere.  Courts (apparently) have no limited that to 360 feet or so. But that still gives me the right as a property owner to prohibit you from entering my property or from having your property entering my property.  Therefore, I (and Apple Inc.) already have a legal recourse to prevent you from flying a drone anywhere near my property--be it small, light, inconspicuous or otherwise.  I'm not really worried about a drone 100+ yards above or away from my property.
    anantksundaram
  • Reply 14 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,292member
    I was wondering how long Apple would tolerate these drone flights. Now we know.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,292member
    Hopefully the new products coming will be announced in the Steve Jobs Theater. Was the seating capacity ever published?
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 16 of 32
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,528moderator
    lkrupp said:
    Hopefully the new products coming will be announced in the Steve Jobs Theater. Was the seating capacity ever published?
    1000
  • Reply 17 of 32
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,114member
    NemWan said:
    The drone issue is bigger than Apple. Laws about navigable airspace aren't up-to-date with remote-piloted or autonomous drones. 
    This is true. However, changes in law often result from the kinds of activities described in this article.

    I'm a tad surprised we have not yet seen a serious crime committed with this technology. I recall seeing a video of a UAV outfitted with a 9mm handgun. If we learn nothing else from history, it is that all weapons, once invented, are used. We are now in the era where everyone potentially owns a cruise missile.

    Personal grinds-my-gears: a "drone" is a autonomous vehicle. Remotely piloted UAVs are not drones.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 18 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,534member
    sog35 said:
    This is just a fact of life now days.

    Another shitty thing because of Terrorist.
    Actually im hoping Apple gets the legal traction to enforce the concept of property ownership and privacy.  This has nothing to do with terrorism but rather people flying drones to peak into the windows of unsuspecting owners.  Effectively these drone flihhts are trying to normslize spying for whatrver purpose and we need a legsl framework to protect our selves. 
  • Reply 19 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,534member
    jbdragon said:
    sog35 said:
    This is just a fact of life now days.

    Another shitty thing because of Terrorist.
    That excuse is pretty weak. Go to Google Earth and get a better view of things. You don't even have to leave your house to do it. Using that excuse and restricting people's freedoms is exactly what terrorists wants. You're playing their game.
    This has nothing to do with terrorism, it does have a lot to do with spying though.  Here it doesnt matter if you are a corporation or a private home owner you simply dont want drones flying around at all hours looking in your Windows.  

    Frankly this is new legal territory but it is rather pressing as drone tech is advancing rapidly.  We need the ability to protect ourselves from these sorts of intrusions, one aspect would be a legal framewotk to throw these voyuers into prison for a very long time.  

    There comes a point where such activities can turn from curiosity into two types of spying.  One would be the spying that perverts love so much.   The second form of spying is that that take place for profit in the corporate world.   Apple is right to be concerned about both.  
    bb-15
  • Reply 20 of 32
    stanthemanstantheman Posts: 273member
    After construction is complete, the grass grows and the pond is filled with water, it seems that every subsequent drone flight would reveal the same basic image, month after month. Apple may even produce that final, finished drone video for the grand opening or commercials. After that date, only industrial spies will suffer from a drone ban. I doubt that Foxconn or Samsung permit drones to loiter over their facilities.

    It seems the big trees around the perimeter of the Apple campus would make it difficult or impossible for drone pilots to maintain constant line-of-sight contact with their drones, without ever flying above 400 feet. Trigonometry.
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