EVs with built-in camera drones have already landed in China

Chinese automakers Starting to equip electric cars with camera drones. For now, this drone integration is aimed at content creators who want to collect videos of themselves driving. These systems typically enable one-click filming of a moving vehicle, in which the action can be viewed live on the car’s internal display as well as recorded for posterity. Flights can also be controlled by voice by the (distracted) driver.

$150,000 Yangwang U8 From plug-in hybrid SUV BYDThe world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, Sports A dji drone stored and charged in a dedicated rooftop space covered with thunderbirds-Style slide-away panel.

Geely-owned Lynk & Co has updated the operating system on its $24,000 06 EM-P The compact SUV so that its cockpit screen can control the hood-launched drone, again from DJI.

State-owned Dongfeng’s $98,000 M-Hero 917 SUV can be commercially equipped for an additional $14,000. S400 drone From GDU Tech. (DJI and GDU Tech are both Shenzhen-based.) Launched from the roof of 917 Controllable by touchscreen for autonomous flight or from within this Hummer-shaped off-roader, the S400’s camera array features motion detection and facial recognition for creepy but accurate target tracking.

Content creators will have little use for the S400’s power line fault-finding laser, although the drone’s ability to scale a 3-kilogram payload could come in handy when delivering emergency cans of Red Bull for heavy social media sessions. Can. (Ukraine could use para-military vehicles equipped with such drones – and a grassroots crowdfunding effort, or dronationCould buy a fleet of them.)

“As a content creator, drone integration with cars is interesting,” says Mark Rainford, a Shanghai-based automotive journalist. inside china auto, “I have a lot of experience shooting cars with drones in China, and it is a difficult and difficult task because the street furniture in the country often includes trees on the side of the road and cables crossing it. To avoid these, you’ll need to turn on (the drone’s) obstacle-avoidance, which limits the speed at which you can record.

Most consumer drones cannot exceed 27 mph when flying autonomously. Still, Rainford predicts that more Chinese automakers will integrate drones into their new cars. “Competition is tough, so collaborations like this can differentiate a product – no matter how useful it is in real life,” he says.

Hero shots of slow-traveling EVs won’t set the world alight, but marketers can hope that pairing drones with cars will soon lead to eye-to-eye monitoring of traffic snafus, though aviation authorities around the world There will be no doubt about it. Take your sweet time approving such use.

So far, Chinese automakers have only highlighted the content creation capability of these onboard drones.

BYD’s unmanned aircraft system has been integrated into the Yangwang U8 SUV.

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