As seashores start to get packed with sun-worshippers, a coastal town in northeastern Spain is using drones to monitor beach crowds in real time. The drone trials in Sitges come at a time when COVID-19 cases are rising dramatically across Spain.

The pilot project is expected to last through August 22. Drone company Annunzia, which is leading the project, says that the drone footage will be transmitted directly to a computer vision software that would then count how many people are there on the beach. Local official Guillem Escola tells Reuters news agency:

If we see the beach is very crowded, we can pass that information on to the beach monitors who will make checks and ensure people are keeping their distance. If people don’t take notice, then we send in the police.

Drones for beach monitoring: a question of privacy

Some local residents are expressing concerns that surveillance through beach monitoring drones would invade their privacy. However, the local authorities…