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Skydio calls out DJI Mavic 2 APAS video as 'marketing gimmick'

Skydio calls out DJI Mavic 2 APAS video as ‘marketing gimmick’

Lately, it seems that everybody is going after Chinese dronemaker DJI. First various U.S. Government Departments and lawmakers concerned about data security and possible spying from the Chinese Government. Then, French drone maker Parrot played off of the same fear to promote their latest ANAFI USA commercial drone. And, now even the U.S.-based Skydio, calling out DJI’s Mavic 2 APAS video and obstacle avoidance system as a ‘marketing gimmick’ compared to their autonomously flying drones.

Skydio calls out DJI Mavic 2 APAS video as ‘marketing gimmick’

When DJI’s Brendan Schulman tweeted the latest DJI and Red Bull video and said:

“Autonomy isn’t replacing this visual and flight artistry anytime soon,”

it didn’t take Skydio long to respond. The U.S.-based drone maker said:

“Not everybody has a production team + arguably the world’s best FPV pilot to film their ride. The true value of autonomy isn’t replacing the ultra skilled professionals who take hours of planning, but enabling everyday people to capture their experiences reliably on their own.”

With the ball back in DJI’s court, Brendan replied with:

“Agreed but for foreseeable future the pilot-in-command must be skilled enough to fly the UAS safely. FAA rules dont permit actual autonomy & the pilot remains legally required. Obstacle-avoidance features to assist a pilot are not a new thing, e.g. 2018.”

He added the video showcasing DJI’s APAS that came with the DJI Mavic 2 drone back in 2018, which is indeed a nice video but as Skydio rightfully pointed out is not a ‘real video.’ Their response was:

“When you can share a real video instead of a computer-generated marketing asset, then we can talk about it. Here’s a video from one of our customers posted recently flying Skydio R1 (released in 2018). ”

“No marketing gimmick necessary.”

Touché.

Brendan is not one to back down from a good conversation and added:

“You know this isn’t a marketing gimmick. There are tons of real videos, including this one which found pros and cons for each product and noted, “Who is a winner? It depends. Neither drone was perfect, they both screwed up in one way, shape or form.”

And…

“It’s always a delight to discuss competitive features. Your product is very impressive too. I’m sure you would agree that free & open competition, supported by appropriate risk-based government policy, promotes innovation and progress.”

I have to agree that the Mavic Air 2 is quite a step up from the earlier DJI drones in terms of obstacle avoidance. Maybe the yet-to-be-released DJI Mavic 3 will really blow us away? We’ll see…

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