German rail network to fight graffiti with drones

Trains such as Deutsche Bahn's high-speed Class 411 ICE T use rail yards where drones will be deployed.

(Credit: Deutsche Bahn AG)

From personal photographers to aerial artworks, drones are finding new applications every day. Now Germany’s national rail network wants to deploy them against graffiti.

Deutsche Bahn says its trains were defaced about 14,000 times in 2012 alone, costing the operator about $9.8 million in cleanup expenses.

The company will start testing drones at large rail depots, where vandalism frequently occurs at night. The drones will be nearly silent and will have GPS tracking and sensitive infrared cameras to establish evidence for criminal prosecution.

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