Drone News Roundup: Video of a Flying Car, CineWhoop of “Painted Lady” House, and More!
BY Zacc Dukowitz16 July 2021
This week we’re covering a new video featuring a flying car—that’s right, a car that can both drive on the road AND fly in the sky.
We’re also covering a fun CineWhoop fly-through of an iconic “painted lady” home in San Francisco, the use of a thermal drone to find a red panda that went missing from a zoo in Germany, new data from Skywatch.ai that shows DJI is losing market share, and a chance to win an Autel Evo II 6K.
Now on to the links!
Video Features 35-Minute Flight of a Car Made to Both Drive and Fly
Amid all the talk of Urban Air Mobility and drone taxis we’ve lost sight of the original sci fi dream for the future: a flying car. But have no fear—Stefan Klein, founder of KleinVision, has been working on a flying car since 1989. And now he has a working prototype. The video shown above features the AirCar, which was recently flown from Nitra to Bratislava in the country of Slovakia on an impressive 35-minute test flight. Watch the video to see the AirCar in action.
CineWhoop Video of a “Painted Lady” Home in San Francisco
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If you’ve ever been to San Francisco, you may have seen the iconic “painted ladies,” a historic row of colorfully painted Victorian and Edwardian houses. This new CineWhoop video from creator Reza Kurniawan takes us on a tour through a painted lady, showing us that these homes don’t just have impressive interiors. The flight takes us all the way up, through each story of the building and back out the window on the top floor, stopping over a neighboring park and turning to look over a sweeping view of the city of San Francisco.
Missing Red Panda Found by Thermal Drone
Employees of the Duisburg Zoo in Duisburg, Germany were frantic last week after Jang, their red panda (shown above), went missing. Using both binoculars and a DJI Mavic Pro equipped with a thermal camera, Jang was soon found in good condition hiding out in a tree not far from the zoo. Once found, zoo personnel were quickly able to climb up and retrieve him with a ladder supplied by the Duisburg Fire Department. The thermal drone was crucial to the search, since the foliage was thick and visibility was quite limited in the trees.
DJI Loses Market Share to Autel, Skydio, and Others
Image credit: Skywatch.ai
According to a recent report from Skywatch.ai, DJI has steadily been losing market share in the commercial drone space since 2018. The loss in any given year is not very significant, but when seen in total it represents an overall decline of 7% over the last three-and-a-half years. Autel has taken the biggest bite out of DJI’s business (as you can see in the graph above), with Skydio a distant second.
The recent decline of DJI’s market share could be attributed, at least in part, to privacy concerns and the impending passage of the American Security Drone Act, which seeks to ban all Chinese drones from use by federal agencies. But it could also be that competitors like Autel and Skydio are making products that do a good job competing with DJI. Either way, DJI still dominates the market. But the data from Skywatch.ai shows that there is room for other drone companies to start pushing their way in and make space for themselves.
Take Autel’s Survey to Enter a Drawing for an Evo II 6K
Photo credit: Autel
Have ten minutes? Autel is looking for people to complete its survey. In return you’ll be entered to win a free Autel II Evo 6K. Since naming Randall Warnas—formerly of DJI and FLIR—as its CEO, Autel has been making a big push to connect further with its users and to distinguish itself as a drone company that cares about its customers. The survey is an example of this effort, as it centers on capturing feedback that can help it improve its processes, products, and customer support.
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