All posts by Sanuav

EHang Announces Strategic Partnership with Vodafone to Collaborate on Urban Air Mobility

EHang, the world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company, today announced a strategic partnership with Vodafone, one of the world’s biggest telecoms and technology service providers with over 600 million customers globally, to collaborate on building out an urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem first in Germany and then Europe-wide.

Under the agreement, Vodafone will become EHang’s exclusive partner to provide connectivity to all EHang AAVs operating in Europe by equipping them with Vodafone SIM cards. EHang will become Vodafone’s exclusive UAM partner.

Through the Vodafone network, individual passenger and logistics AAVs will be able to communicate with the command-and-control centers that regulate their operations as well as with each other, enabling safer and more efficient transportation through urban air space.

“Every AAV requires digital connectivity to ensure the coordination of air traffic, so fast networks like 5G are critical to enabling sustainable pilotless air travel and freight delivery systems,” said EHang Founder, Chairman, and CEO Hu Huazhi. “5G is also a key infrastructure component for the commercial deployment of AAVs, since it enables take-offs and landings that are precisely controlled within centimeters.”

Once the regulatory framework allows, EHang and Vodafone also intend to collaborate on AAV test flights and will further work together on mobility platform services that provide digital and streaming content to AAV passengers while in-vehicle, enable payments, and support identity verification.

Vodafone CEO Hannes Ametsreiter said: “Autonomous air taxis will enable increased mobility options for all of us in the future. They will complement existing modes of transportation but allow us to fly above traffic jams if needed.”

EHang’s mission is to make safe, autonomous and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone. Its two-seater EHang 216 passenger model provides pilotless air transportation services and has offered flight demonstrations in countries around the world.

In order to build out the UAM ecosystem and eventually launch regular routes for passenger transportation, EHang works with regulators, and partners with companies worldwide to develop standards and infrastructure for take-off and landing zones, battery charging stations, and mobile communications. EHang’s logistics AAVs are already in regular use via a pilot project that EHang is conducting in partnership with logistics company DHL-Sinotrans.

Fishing drone drama, warrant issued

I expect 99% of us have seen the video of a chap flying underneath a large multirotor. Well, the Australian regulator is having a close look ar, Tim French.

Greg, Oz By Drone made me aware of it and we spoke a little this morning about it.

Sadly I can’t embed it, but it’s below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4OZlBF6BbI

It is alleged that on 17th of August 2019, at Upper Coliban Reservoir, near Kyneton, Victoria, Mr Timothy French operated the aircraft and permitted other(s) to operate the aircraft. During one operation, Mr Sam Foreman sitze I’m restrained in an aluminium chair suspended by steel cables beneath the aircraft. The aircraft is then operated over the reservoir at a height of about 10-15 metres with Mr Foreman in the chair, apparently fishing.

During the operation of the aircraft, Mr Sam Forman sits in an aluminium chair wearing only shoes, shorts and a shirt and a black helmet fitted with a video camera. During takeoff, landing and throughout the flight, Mr Forman is suspended directly below the aircraft. His chair is connected by three cables about 10-15 metres in length to the underside of the aircraft. If the aircraft were to lose power and/or List or two become uncontrollable due to mechanical failure, it is likely the life of Mr Foreman would be endangered in the following ways:

(a) By being struck by the aircraft while suspended in mid-air;

(b) By an uncontrolled fall into the water;

(c) By being struck by the aircraft after falling into the water below

(d) By having his egress from the water impeeded buy the cables and the wreckage of the aircraft.

A female person stands about 10-15 metres from the aircraft as it takes off and lands. Should the aircraft have become uncontrollable due to mechanical or other failure of this female person is likely to be in danger of serious injury or even death if struck by the aircraft.

None of the 12 rotors which power the aircraft are fitted with propeller guards. This increases the risk of injury to nearby persons should be aircraft become uncontrollable.

· If any such thing is found, to seize it

And by virtue of sections 32AH(2) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988, if, in the course of searching the premises specified above you find another thing that you believe, on reasonable grounds, to be:

· A thing that will afford evidence of the commission of the offence specified above; or

· A thing that will afford evidence of the commission of another offence against the Civil Aviation Act 1988 or the regulations;

You may seize it, and if you believe, on reasonable grounds that it is necessary to seize the thing to prevent its concealment, las or destruction.

ENTRY UNDER THIS WARRANT MAY BE MADE BETWEEN THE HOURS OF

6.00 am and 9.00 pm

THIS WARRANT CEASES TO HAVE EFFECT AT THE START OF THE DAY WHICH IS ONE WEEK AFTER THE DATA OF ISSUE.

The purpose of this warrant is to authorise the investigator named in the wind, with such assistance and by such force as is necessary and reasonable to enter the premises specified in the wind, to search for things of the kind described in the wind, being things relating to the offences specified in the wind, and to seize any such thing as maybe found.

No More Drone Rules – Drone Run

No More Drone Rules…Startup Develops a Clever Way to Revitalise Drone Flying Amidst Ongoing Concerns for Drone Safety

The creators of startup Drone Run, brothers Alex and Toby Liew, are shaking up the consumer drone flying experience with an innovative flying game that keeps drone flying low to the ground and in your line of sight, so you don’t have to worry about breaking any rules.

What is Drone Run?

Drone Run is an exhilarating and skill-developing game with responsive landing and checkpoint challenges for beginner to professional consumer drone pilots seeking an extra use for their drones.

Comprised of an inventive drone landing pad and responsive sensor checkpoints, Drone Run adds a fun yet competitive spin on the drone flying experience that unlocks a previously unexplored area of flight.

Perhaps the most important feature, the gameplay compels users not only to keep their drone in their line of sight but to fly low to the ground in a controlled and skilful manner. This eliminates the risk of dangerous and disruptive drone flying and instead cultivates a community of responsible and proficient drone users.

Why Is It Needed?

Co-founder Toby Liew says ‘given the heightened pressure of drone safety and responsibility from the recent string of reckless drone flying events, Drone Run provides an innovative solution for ready-to-fly drones that pilots love using with their drones’.

‘We’re not saying every drone owner needs training, in fact, the vast majority of drone pilots are completely responsible and operate their drones in accordance to the Drone Code, but to such drone owners, Drone Run breathes a new and thrilling lease of life into their expensive pieces of kit.’

‘For new ready-to-fly drone users, the Drone Run starter kit provides an entertaining means for training basic flying and landing skills whilst playing the game.’

Co-founder Alex Liew says ‘sometimes, there are only so many aerial photos one can stomach before their drone gathers dust in the back of their cupboard or at worse, on eBay. On top of beautiful aerial cinematography, why not test your skills with Drone Run for times there aren’t such beautiful things to film?’

The Landing Pad

With its simple sensors, the smart landing pad times your flights from the instant you take off to the moment you land. Complete the smoothest drone flight in your best possible time and compete with friends and family, or just race yourself.

Consistently Flat Take-off and Landing Surface

The Drone Run landing pad is robust. It’s a solid surface to land on, unlike lopsided, wobbly landings on thin and flimsy landing mats. It also sits well on the ground, offering a flat surface no matter the terrain,

and prevents prop wash blowing any debris on your drone so you can protect your precious flying machine.

Effortless Portability

Conveniently, the drone landing pad folds in half, secured with magnets, making it easy to carry and transport. It opens up and fastens flat with easy to use Velcro straps, keeping your landing pad stable on the ground so you can set up and pack away effortlessly.

Cushion Soft Landings

Drone Run has used ultra-lightweight yet robust, fully recyclable EPP foam to achieve a soft-to-touch, shock-absorbent base that won’t damage your drone or propellers if you don’t quite land right.

The Sensor Checkpoints

These smart sensor checkpoints stick into the ground and sense when a drone is above them, triggering satisfying flashes and beeps. The creators have suggested some course layouts with different lap record times on their website but claim the customisation is really in your hands.

Drone Legislation

Amid a new government crackdown with legislation coming into force in November requiring users who fly drones weighing 250g or more to register with the CAA and take an online test, Drone Run could not come at a better time to help with training and awareness.

Pricing and Availability

Drone Run is launching its products with hefty discounts on Kickstarter, with its new products expected to deliver by early next year, providing the campaign has been successfully funded. The Drone Run starter kit (1x Pad and 1x Sensor) costs £90/$112, but Kickstarter backers can get it for £65/$91. Drone Run is also offering their more popular core and pro kits, group and training bundles all for up to 20% off RRP – and 30% off for ‘earlybirds’.

Drone Run has big plans to reshape the way drones are flown, intending to expand their accessory range with more interactive course components, an app and AR integration; all with the aim of gamifying drone flying and reinforcing drone safety.

Drone Run

Aerodyne Series B Funding

(From L-R)Raymond Hor, Kejora Partner MalaysiaChung-Hee Woo, Chief Executive Officer, InterVestNizam Mohd Reza, Head of Value Creation, VentureTECHAzita Azizan, Executive Director, Aerodyne GroupKamarul A Muhamed, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Aerodyne GroupAmin Shafie, Partner, Intres CapitalJamaludin Bujang, Managing Director, Gobi Partners MalaysiaAhmad Redzuan Sidek, Chief Investment Officer, VentureTECHKhairul Mohd Khairi, Partner, Gobi Partners

Aerodyne Group, the world leading drone-based managed solutions provider, announces a US$30 million Series B investment round.

Present at the signing ceremony of the first closing were representatives of the Series B lead investor, InterVest/ Kejora Ventures, alongside VentureTECH and Gobi Partners as well as an existing investor from Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF). Participating investor in the Series B first closing but not present today was 500 Startups.

Today, the Malaysian-headquartered, 5-year old Aerodyne is ranked third globally by Drone Industry Insights in its 2019 Drone Service Provider Ranking. Aerodyne currently has a presence in 25 countries and delivers AI-driven, drone-based enterprise-integrated managed solutions to the Oil & Gas, Power, Telecoms, Renewables, Construction, Agriculture and Infrastructure industries. Aerodyne has also been privileged to be under the Global Acceleration Innovation Network (GAIN) programme initiated by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), which assists highly select Malaysia-based companies to scale up globally.

Aerodyne’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kamarul A Muhamad elaborated, “We’ve grown by leaps and bounds since we began in 2014. We’ve been building a business delivering much-needed solutions to a raft of companies and with backing from respected investors, at a time of drone industry consolidation, which is a testament to our strength, growth prospects and the opportunities ahead.”

“We welcome our strategic investors in this Series B round, and look forward to working together on our exciting journey ahead. We also thank QuantePhi as the lead advisor for the Series B round.”

Mr. CH Woo, CEO of InterVest said, “The drone industry has been developing at breakneck speed, but Aerodyne has found the right balance between advancement of technology and meeting client needs. We are excited to be able to provide Kamarul and his team with the funding capital needed to underpin the continued development of technology, business solutions and human capacity to drive Aerodyne’s sustained global growth trajectory.“

VentureTECH’s Managing Director, Dr. Norida Abd. Rahman emphasised the investment company’s role saying,

“As a strategic impact investor, our investment is centered on the socioeconomic footprint and commercial strength of Aerodyne’s business as well as the emerging industry it is in. VentureTECH sees the drone industry as a platform industry with high potential to produce spillover effect to the local economy such as creation of high-skilled employment, intensifying R&D activities, and increasing overall high-value economic activities. We hope to materialise these potentials by providing the growth capital and working collectively with Aerodyne and the other Series B investors.”

Proceeds from the Series B investment round will be used to undertake select M&As, further invest in R&D and technology, hire talent globally and continue to expand into Aerodyne’s key global markets such as Japan, India, US, and the Middle East.

2019 Commercial UAV Expo

2019 Commercial UAV Expo Americas to Break Exhibitor & Attendance Records

200 + Exhibitors and 2,500+ drone professionals will come together Oct 28-30, 2019 in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV – October 17, 2019 – When the doors open for the 5th annual Commercial UAV Expo Americas in Las Vegas on October 28th, it will break all previous exhibitor and attendance records. “More than 200 exhibitors and 2,500 attendees will unite for the event, a testament to the strength of the commercial drone market and evidence of the increasingly important role Commercial UAV Expo Americas is playing in the space,” said Lisa Murray, Group Director at Diversified Communications, organizer of the event. The event runs from October 28-30 at the Westgate in Las Vegas.

Commercial UAV Expo Americas is a platform where commercial drone professionals can get up to speed on the market and discover future opportunities. It brings together the right people, the latest solutions and the practical education commercial drone professionals need to maximize their organization’s efficiency, save money, improve safety and mitigate risk. Here’s what to expect:

EXHIBITS

More than 200 companies will be exhibiting, making Commercial UAV Expo Americas the largest commercial drone event in the Americas, by far. Best-in-class solutions from the most influential companies will be on display, allowing attendees to make the most of their time by being able to compare and qualify solutions all in one place. See the full list here.

EDUCATION

Attendees will learn from the best in a variety of educational formats: keynotes, plenaries, vertical industry sessions, hands-on workshops, outdoor flying demonstrations and more.

Keynotes

A lineup of industry leaders will provide meaningful insight into the state of the market and what’s to come. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and VP of the Advanced Technology Group at UPS Bala Ganesh will deliver keynote addresses followed by a UAS CEO Panel comprised of the leaders from DroneDeploy, Measure, DroneUp and Skydio moderated by Gretchen West, President & CEO of Schiebel Aircraft, Inc.

Plenaries & General Sessions

These are the topics everyone wants to learn more about, regardless of vertical industry. Expanded Operations, Remote ID, UAM and UTM will be tackled, giving attendees the information they need to adapt and plan.

Vertical Industry Deep-Dive Sessions

These practical, one-of-a-kind sessions will cover topics from platform selection to automation, data integration, workflows, scaling and security and provide critical insight into the issues and challenges unique to specific verticals.

DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Summit

The DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Summit at Commercial UAV Expo Americas will unite drone operators and program managers across law enforcement, fire rescue, and other emergency services for strategic discussions and workshops surrounding the evolving use of unmanned aircraft systems. Topics will include program development and management, training standards and certification, mutual assistance, and more.

Vendor & Association Workshops

A variety of workshops are being offered to increase technical know-how:

> A True View of Drone Lidar hosted by GeoCue Group

> AUVSI Trusted Operator Program (TOP) Certification hosted by Embry Riddle

> Intro to UAS Ops & Mapping & Advanced UAS Mapping Concepts hosted by ASPRS

> Night sUAS (DRONE) CSI Demo hosted by Sundance Media Group

> Night Flight Training hosted by Sundance Media Group

> Part 107 Test Prep hosted by Patrick Sherman, Roswell Flight Test Crew

> Practical UAS Project Operations hosted by MAPPS

> Processing Large Datasets Workshop hosted by Pix4D

> Latin American Commercial Drone Perspectives & Opportunities hosted by APD



Live Outdoor Flying Demonstrations


The most expansive live demos are only available at Commercial UAV Expo Americas. Eight leading vendors will show their drones and software in action, providing insight into their capabilities. Vendors include: AeroVironment, Autel Robotics, DroneNerds, FLIR, Geometrics, Leica Geosystems, LiDAR USA and MicaSense. Organization and support are being provided by Sundance Media Group.

Product Preview Presentations

More than 30 leading vendors will share their latest release and news, including AeroVironment, FLIR Systems, Wingtra, Boeing, LiDAR USA, Pix4D, Riegl USA Phoenix Lidar, Topcon Positioning Systems and Trimble/Applanix.

Exhibit Hall Theater

Free to all registrants, this programming includes University Research Developments, Enterprise Solutions for Scaling Drone Operations (sponsored by Airmap), Test Site Panel Updates, Launch Pad Presentations, and Product Previews.

CONNECTIONS

Over 2,500 drone professionals will attend Commercial UAV Expo Americas this year, drawn by the education, exhibits, and opportunity to connect with one another. Registration is trending 30% ahead of last year and includes professionals from leading companies and government agencies from throughout the United States and 50+ countries. See who you could meet.

REGISTRATION

Exhibits are free to visit for anyone who registers by October 27th. Conference registrants can save $100 by registering by October 27th. Registration is available online here.

About Commercial UAV Expo Americas

Commercial UAV Expo Americas, presented by Commercial UAV News, is an international conference and expo exclusively focused on commercial UAS integration and operation covering industries including Construction; Energy & Utilities; Forestry & Agriculture; Infrastructure & Transportation; Mining & Aggregates; Public Safety & Emergency Services; Security; and Surveying & Mapping. It takes place 28-30 October 2019 at Westgate in Las Vegas. Its European sister event takes place 1-3 December 2020 at the RAI Amsterdam. For more information, visit www.expouav.com and www.expouav.com/europe.

Commercial UAV Expo Americas is produced by Diversified Communications’ technology portfolio which also includes Commercial UAV Expo Europe, Commercial UAV News, GeoBusiness Show, International Lidar Technology Forum, SPAR 3D Expo & Conference, SPAR 3D.com, AECNext Technology Expo & Conference and AEC Next News. For information about exhibiting at Commercial UAV Expo, visit www.expouav.com/exhibition/ or contact Katherine Dow, Sales Manager, at kdow@divcom.com or +1.207-842-5497. For attending information, visit www.expouav.com or email info@expouav.com.

AI Powered Racing Drones Set To Complete Against Humans

Watch out drone racers, there’s a new drone on the block, and this one is flying on its own. Recently, the Drone Racing League (DRL), saw its first ever completely autonomous drone racing event, and is staged to have more through the end of the year. Usually racing drones are flown by human pilots, but the drones in this event are programmed to completely fly on their own. This is a huge milestone, and potentially the first step in AI beating humans in a more active, physical task.

The road to this has taken nine teams of programmers from around the world months to complete. They’ve worked hard to come up with the best software to control the drone and help it fly at its best. This is no simple task as their software has to take in all the data the drone sees and make decisions on the fly without human input. With speeds well over 100 MPH for top racing drones, this takes a lot of work to get right, and each drone needs to process tons of data in fractions of a second or risk crashing. The drone debuted in Orlando at the Addition Financial Arena for the racing event.

The drone itself has a very sleek design, looking like a cross between a fish and a bird. This emphasizes and contributes to its goal of being fast. Strapped to the drone is four cameras to help it ‘see’, four different propellers, and a Nvidia processor to run the whole show. The cameras give it twice the field of view as a human pilot, which is sure to prove advantageous in avoiding obstacles.

The drone will participate in a brand new event called the Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing series. This event will have computer controlled drones racing against each other in a simpler course competing for the chance to take on human controlled drones. The course is simpler than the usual course to start, but it’s likely we’ll see increasing complexity as the technology around flying the drones improves.

The series features four different races where the AI drones will go head to head for the fastest time on the course. At the end, the best computer controlled drone will take on human pilots on December 6th in Austin Texas.

drone racing league racer ai

This is going to be a very interesting event as AI has a long way to go to beat humans in this type of event. Sure, computers destroy humans at things like Chess or video games like StarCraft, but drone racing is a much different domain. This is the first instance of an AI designed to beat humans at a physical sport, previous AIs are much more focused on games of the mind. It will be interesting to see how the drones perform overall, as well as how they stack up against their human controlled counterparts.

The implications here are huge outside of drone racing too. The success of this could leak into other sports and physical activities, and we may see drones and AI being used for a much larger range of tasks. Robotic sports might be just around the corner; drone powered AI racing might just be the first glimpse of a huge market.

This is sure to be an exciting few months for drone racing enthusiasts as they wait to see the progress of the AI powered drones. It will be even more exciting to see the top drone face off against a human pilot, and see which one will take home the glory of victory. Will the AI dethrone humans as the champions of the Drone Racing Leauge? We’ll have to wait until December to find out!

Dronethusiast Team. Kennedy Martinez

KennedyMartinez

kennedy@dronethusiast.com

Kennedy Martinez is a resident writer who joined Dronethusiast at the beginning of 2019. She has years of experience reviewing drones and other tech products. When it comes to flying drones, Kennedy loves the ability to create artistic videos from a unique point of view. Kennedy enjoys researching new drones and other exciting products that are available to consumers which is why she is committed to creating the best buyer’s guides for our readers.

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AI Powered Racing Drones Set To Compete Against Humans

Watch out drone racers, there’s a new drone on the block, and this one is flying on its own. Recently, the Drone Racing League (DRL), saw its first ever completely autonomous drone racing event, and is staged to have more through the end of the year. Usually racing drones are flown by human pilots, but the drones in this event are programmed to completely fly on their own. This is a huge milestone, and potentially the first step in AI beating humans in a more active, physical task.

The road to this has taken nine teams of programmers from around the world months to complete. They’ve worked hard to come up with the best software to control the drone and help it fly at its best. This is no simple task as their software has to take in all the data the drone sees and make decisions on the fly without human input. With speeds well over 100 MPH for top racing drones, this takes a lot of work to get right, and each drone needs to process tons of data in fractions of a second or risk crashing. The drone debuted in Orlando at the Addition Financial Arena for the racing event.

The drone itself has a very sleek design, looking like a cross between a fish and a bird. This emphasizes and contributes to its goal of being fast. Strapped to the drone is four cameras to help it ‘see’, four different propellers, and a Nvidia processor to run the whole show. The cameras give it twice the field of view as a human pilot, which is sure to prove advantageous in avoiding obstacles.

The drone will participate in a brand new event called the Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing series. This event will have computer controlled drones racing against each other in a simpler course competing for the chance to take on human controlled drones. The course is simpler than the usual course to start, but it’s likely we’ll see increasing complexity as the technology around flying the drones improves.

The series features four different races where the AI drones will go head to head for the fastest time on the course. At the end, the best computer controlled drone will take on human pilots on December 6th in Austin Texas.

drone racing league racer ai

This is going to be a very interesting event as AI has a long way to go to beat humans in this type of event. Sure, computers destroy humans at things like Chess or video games like StarCraft, but drone racing is a much different domain. This is the first instance of an AI designed to beat humans at a physical sport, previous AIs are much more focused on games of the mind. It will be interesting to see how the drones perform overall, as well as how they stack up against their human controlled counterparts.

The implications here are huge outside of drone racing too. The success of this could leak into other sports and physical activities, and we may see drones and AI being used for a much larger range of tasks. Robotic sports might be just around the corner; drone powered AI racing might just be the first glimpse of a huge market.

This is sure to be an exciting few months for drone racing enthusiasts as they wait to see the progress of the AI powered drones. It will be even more exciting to see the top drone face off against a human pilot, and see which one will take home the glory of victory. Will the AI dethrone humans as the champions of the Drone Racing Leauge? We’ll have to wait until December to find out!

Dronethusiast Team. Kennedy Martinez

KennedyMartinez

kennedy@dronethusiast.com

Kennedy Martinez is a resident writer who joined Dronethusiast at the beginning of 2019. She has years of experience reviewing drones and other tech products. When it comes to flying drones, Kennedy loves the ability to create artistic videos from a unique point of view. Kennedy enjoys researching new drones and other exciting products that are available to consumers which is why she is committed to creating the best buyer’s guides for our readers.

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Airbus Completes 114 Flights of its New “Air Taxi” Drone

You’ve heard of drones delivering packages, but what about drones delivering people? That’s right, companies like Airbus that have been using drones in innovative ways and now are working on autonomous drone Taxis that can carry human passengers. These air taxis will be able to fly over traffic, and provide a new way to travel in urban areas. The area is ripe for advancement, and several big name players, including Airbus, have already stepped in to start developing the technology.

project vahana

Airbus is joined by competitors like Boeing and many others that are working on similar technology. Airbus recently completed 114 flights of their drone “Vahana”. This was all done with no crashes or accidents, which is very impressive considering the relative newness of the technology. Airbus’s drone also works entirely autonomously, there’s no human pilot needed, it’s all computer controlled. Airbus has achieved quite the feat here in building not only a drone capable of carrying passengers, but also piloting without the need for a human pilot.

This technology looks really promising to make travel through dense, urban areas easier. Unlike a traditional taxi, there’s no waiting in traffic when flying through the air. Right now, the drone features a range of about 31 miles with 20 minute flight time on a single charge. That’s enough to get some serious distance, even trips from out from the suburbs to the city center. Airbus has said that right now the cost for a drone trip is comparable to that of a traditional taxi, another point in its favor.

Right now, Airbus’s main focus is on battery life and autonomy. They want flights that can travel long distances over time, as well as vehicles that require no pilot, which are both key points to major adoption worldwide. In fact, Matt Deal, the head of flight testing, said that the drones future is directly tied to advancements in battery efficiency. That shows just how important long lasting and light batteries are to drone advancement. Right now, the battery alone makes up over 40% of the total weight of the vehicle, so reducing that weight while keeping or improving efficiency would be a big win.

The technology is quickly progressing, but there’s still a couple big issues in terms of adoption. The two biggest are probably government regulation and public perception.

For the government’s part, there’s currently little to no regulation setup to govern the space. Companies aren’t going to just be able to set up flying taxi services in cities without going through layers of red tape. It’s certainly going to take some time for regulators to catch up. Just look at delivery drones and the sorts of issues companies have to face there to get a sense of the speed that regulators keep up with technology.

The other big problem is public perception, if no one wants to ride in your air taxi then there’s no point in investing money setting up the service. While advancements in technology will put some people at ease, there will still certainly be work in pitching the safety of the rides. That really is the big key, safety. Companies like Airbus will have to make sure to put together marketing campaigns that focus on the safety, and work to put potential riders minds at ease.

The advancement here and the race to build the first true air taxi will certainly be exciting to watch. With so many big names in the game, it’s only a matter of time until the technology becomes a reality. There’s certainly still a lot of work to do, but the companies behind this tech are known to do just that, get stuff done, as well as have the pockets to finance such projects.

Dronethusiast Team. Kennedy Martinez

KennedyMartinez

kennedy@dronethusiast.com

Kennedy Martinez is a resident writer who joined Dronethusiast at the beginning of 2019. She has years of experience reviewing drones and other tech products. When it comes to flying drones, Kennedy loves the ability to create artistic videos from a unique point of view. Kennedy enjoys researching new drones and other exciting products that are available to consumers which is why she is committed to creating the best buyer’s guides for our readers.

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DJI Welcomes FAA And Industry Reports On Improving Drone Safety

Key Recommendations From Drone Experts Mirror DJI’s Safety And Security Initiatives

DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, welcomes today’s release of three U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) committee reports recommending how authorities can monitor airborne drones, protect against inadvertent or perceived misuse of drones in sensitive areas, and allow increasingly complex uses of drones.

Several recommendations from the FAA Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) validate DJI’s proactive approach to building safety and security technology into drones. The reports recommend drone manufacturers protect sensitive airspace with geofencing systems, create remote identification systems for authorities to monitor airborne drones, and install ADS-B-In receivers in drones to alert drone pilots of other aircraft approaching. DJI has already adopted these types of solutions voluntarily, without any government mandate to do so.

“Members of the DAC spent months developing these thoughtful, actionable and balanced recommendations to ensure drones remain a safe addition to the airspace as they grow more useful and more common,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs, who serves on the committee. “DJI is pleased that the safety and security systems in our products meet the expectations of the stakeholders who developed these recommendations, and we look forward to accelerating the adoption of important safety and security improvements for all drone users.”

The three reports were made public at today’s quarterly DAC meeting in Washington, D.C. and are available for download at this link. DJI’s “Elevating Safety” white paper, which explains the safety and security systems in DJI products and outlines a 10-point plan for the industry and government, was released earlier this year and is available for download at this link.

Earlier this month, a separate report from the Blue Ribbon Task Force on UAS Mitigation at Airports, comprising experts from airline, airport, air traffic and security stakeholders, also recommended the drone industry take steps that DJI has already done. That report calls for drone manufacturers to include geofencing, remote identification and a basic knowledge quiz for new drone pilots in their products. The Task Force also noted the benefits of a “three-dimensional bow-tie geofence to address approach and departure pathways,” which DJI developed and deployed one year ago in its major GEO 2.0 geofencing system upgrade. The report also recommends stronger enforcement against drone pilots who break the rules, as well as more authority for local law enforcement officers who are the first to respond to drone incidents, which DJI also called for in “Elevating Safety.” The full Blue Ribbon Task Force report is available for download at this link.

“DJI continues to make safety its top priority, and to work with federal, state and international government officials to develop risk-based solutions that are rapidly deployed into the real world of daily drone operations,” Schulman said. “These new reports from two separate groups validate that the considerable time and resources we have devoted to developing our safety features have been worth the effort, and that DJI is already making considerable contributions to aviation safety and national security during these critical early years of the drone industry.”

Skydio 2 Dock: Enabling persistent autonomous drone operations

Today we’re announcing the Skydio 2 Dock — a self-contained, weatherproof, charging base station for Skydio 2 that enables truly persistent operations for enterprise applications.

The concept of a “drone in a box” has long offered the promise of fully automated data collection for myriad enterprise applications from a repeated mapping of construction sites, to security patrols of sensitive areas, to keeping drones on-call as first responders for emergency situations. However, nothing has come close to delivering on those promises. Existing solutions are massively complex, expensive, and impractical. And beyond all of this, if you want persistent operations that don’t require a pilot in the loop, you need a drone that’s smart enough to fly itself.

The Skydio 2 Dock brings together the most advanced autonomous drone in the world with a compact, lightweight, and accessible dock solution. It fits in a carry-on suitcase, can be set up in minutes, and uses the proven Skydio Autonomy Engine to intelligently accomplish complex tasks.

Persistent operations offer the possibility of increasing drone program ROI ten-fold. As drones gain the ability to constantly work in the background, entirely new use cases become possible. Of course, persistent operations also open up new regulatory questions. We see promising signs in the latest BVLOS waivers, and we also believe that a smaller, lighter drone, with advanced onboard obstacle avoidance, is an inherently safer starting point for this technology to be deployed. We look forward to partnering with our first customers and regulators to roll this product out responsibly.