DJI Air 3 First FULL ActiveTrack 360º Flight – Another Small Crash

Alright, so I didn't think that we'd be making another ActiveTrack video here until a new drone came out because it seems like with every new DJI drone, there's always a new version of ActiveTrack.

With the Mini 4 Pro, we got ActiveTrack 360 with the brand new TouchTrace, the touch wheel interface, but that's now been brought to the DJI Air 3.

ActiveTrack 360º with the DJI Air 3

So actually, the Mini 4 Pro and the Air 3 are the only two drones that have this upgraded ActiveTrack experience, and the Mavic 3, which is DJI's highest-end offering as of today, doesn't offer it, so it's still stuck on the old interface.

Now, I don't think that the performance of ActiveTrack is really going to be any better. I don't think that the Air 3, after this update, is going to have an enhanced performance boost, but I think that it's just going to be a different way for us to interact with the drone.

Now, before we start, I don't know if this was included in this newest update, but there are actually some new Focus Track settings to go over.

So if we tap on the three dots in the top right corner, go to control, and then go to focus track settings, we can now choose the inner and outer radius, the inner and outer height, and then we can also choose the camera motion and near-flight.

These are new settings that I actually just found today when I booted up the Air 3 for the first time. So for this video, what I want to do is keep everything fairly stock.

The inner and outer radius, the inner and outer height—I also want to keep the camera motion on normal, but I think for near-flight, I'm going to turn that on.

So now, the drone will be comfortable flying lower to the ground. Now, the reason that this is a feature is so that if you're going to be flying near people, the drone will stay up above their heads and not run into them.

But with this turned off, because I'm basically the only person out here, it's going to be able to fly lower and continue to track me, giving it better performance.

Okay, so let's go ahead. We will drag a box over ourselves, we'll go ahead and tap on ActiveTrack, we'll tap on Trace, hit go, and now it's going to be following us.

Now we also have a brand new Auto mode where the drone is actually going to automatically choose the moves that it makes to follow us, so that should be pretty interesting.

Dji Air 3 First Full Activetrack 360º Flight - Another Small Crash

We'll definitely give that a try. But as of right now, we're going to go on our normal route through the golf course.

I always mention when doing an ActiveTrack video that this is a really good testbed for this drone. But we're in the fall, so if you look at the trees, there's going to be some thin branches and whatnot, and that's something to look out for because the drone can see obstacles really well; it has omnidirectional obstacle avoidance.

But those tiny little branches can definitely trip the drone up if you aren't careful, and that's why I always say to be careful with what you're going to be doing with ActiveTrack.

It's not completely flawless, but it does do a pretty good job. Now, we're riding the OneWheel Pint here today. And while we're out here, now that we're in the open, let's give this new touch-wheel interface a try.

So from here, it's following me closely from behind. I can now tell it to go further and in front, so now it's going to spin around to the right, and it's going to move further away from me because I put it on the outer radius, so now it's going to make that move.

It's flying further away from me, and of course, it's now moving to the area that I wanted it to go. Now, let me just tell you right off the bat that using this brand new interface and this brand new system with the Air 3 feels so much more comfortable than using it with the Mini 4.

It made that move from behind me. I'm going to switch this to follow from the right. It made that move follow me from the back to the front and also changed its altitude really smoothly.

The issue with the Mini 4, there's some trees there, what's it going to do? Oh man, that got very close to the trees. It was just kind of anticipating my movement here, and now it's going to follow us over to the right.

So with the Mini 4, I just noticed that because it's a smaller drone, it can sometimes become a little bit difficult to make these moves from, say, behind a subject.

One sec, I've got a tight area here. I'm going to try to… Oh, I think it touched the branch. Alright, let's see. I think we may have just gotten saved here.

I didn't see it clip the branch, but look, this is a really tough environment right here for it because we have these low-hanging trees and the thin branches.

I didn't exactly see the screen, so I'll have to go and look at kind of playback. But this is a scenario where I'd want it to fly low to the ground and follow me.

I've got that near-ground flight turned on, so I kind of wish it was doing that. So go ahead, we'll track ourselves, hit ActiveTrack, Trace is turned on, we'll go ahead, and now it is following us again.

So I had the near-ground flight turned on. I'm surprised that it wouldn't fly lower to the ground in order to keep up with me.

Alright, so I was discussing the Mini 4 Pro, Air 3, the Air 3 is just such a more powerful drone than the Mini 4 Pro, right? So when it's here behind me right now, see, it's flying up higher, and I wanted it to fly lower to the ground. Now, it's flying lower.

I guess maybe its default is to fly up high, and then if it needs to, it'll make an adjustment and fly lower to the ground. So, I keep getting sidetracked here.

My thing when it comes to the Mini 4 versus the Air 3, or really just these larger drones in general, is that it's a lot easier for the Air 3 to make moves because it's a more powerful drone.

So when I'm traveling, let's say, at 13 mph or whatever the speed of my OneWheel is here, it's able to make that adjustment from being behind me to getting in front of me much more swiftly just because it's a more powerful drone.

The Mini 4, I noticed, would struggle sometimes, even at these speeds, trying to analyze the area, trying to find any obstacles in the way, and then also making its way up and around me.

So, really, the ActiveTrack experience on the larger drones is far better just because of the overall power. Also, I have to say it is blisteringly cold out here.

Alright, let's go ahead. We're going to get up into some open space up here, and then I'll go ahead, and I'll throw it into the automatic mode just to kind

of give you a preference or a preface of what the auto mode does. Basically, it allows you to go fully hands-off when using ActiveTrack. The drone will then do a bunch of moves on its own.

Like, it'll follow you from different areas, it'll change its distance, it'll change its height, it'll do orbits around you, it'll do the different Helix moves, and stuff like that. I had mentioned in some of my earlier ActiveTrack videos that I really wanted the ability to go hands-off with the drone.

This is always a tough spot right here because of these branches, so I'm going to see what it does here. Okay, flies to the side.

My OneWheel sucks also. I feel like this thing is going to break any day now. It's struggling to get up the hill. That was pretty good.

Again, with these small branches, it's kind of difficult for the drone to see what's around it, but it handled it pretty well.

So, yeah, I've always mentioned that I really wanted a fully hands-off approach with the drone to be able to almost use my voice and tell it what I want it to do.

But this auto mode is definitely a step in the right direction. I used it a little bit on the Mini 4 Pro, probably more than I did on the Air 3, just because during my testing, that's how it fell.

We'll make a right here, here, and then we'll make a left. So, as we come down here, we'll pass by this walker, and then we'll switch it into the automatic mode.

So, what's actually cool is we don't even need to break the different modes that we have here. How are you? So, from here, we can just actually go and press on Auto, and now it's going to switch over to Auto, which is cool.

So, we didn't have to break the ActiveTrack in order for it to change. Now, look up at the top, it says Follow. That's going to be kind of like our guide, and it's going to tell us what the drone is doing.

So, right now, it's… It just said Follow because it's following us. Now, it's going to… Oh, there goes the… There goes the Air. See, this is… This is the issue.

See, it's not going to stop, and it's just going to fall and tumble and hang from the tree. So, here's the issue with Auto. I didn't want it to do that.

I wanted it to just continue to follow me from behind, and it went and thought that it should go and make a right-hand turn. Alright, so no damage was done to the actual drone itself, which is good here.

I'm going to set it down on the side, and then we'll just give it another go. Alright, so I actually realized that one of the propellers is fairly nicked up, pretty badly, I would say.

So, we're going to do a quick, just regular ActiveTrack flight to end off the video. I would hate for the video to end on a crash, but it is what it is.

Fall time is very difficult for doing ActiveTrack videos and ActiveTrack flying in general, just because of the tree branches.

For me, where I'm testing, it's nice on this golf course area because everything is basically closed, but you do have to deal with no leaves on the trees, and then you end up with a crash drone, in my case.

So, I guess, let me quickly just give you some of my final remarks here. Even though we didn't get to really show off the auto mode here, I don't know if it's going to be the answer because, really, it gives the drone a mind of its own.

But I just don't think that we're in a position right now where having the drone fly completely on its own is a good idea, especially maybe in an area like I'm in right now where there's a good amount of activity going on, a good amount of obstacles, and things in the way.

Now, if we were out in the complete open where there's absolutely no pressure of the drone potentially crashing, then, yeah, like, I think that ActiveTrack Auto would work really well. But again, in this scenario right here, I don't know.

I probably would continue to dictate where I want it to follow me from, like, from behind or from the side or wherever, because, again, I know that I'm putting it in an area where it's not going to crash.

Like, I'm flying down this street right here, and I wouldn't say to the drone, “Hey, follow me from the right side,” because if I did, then it could potentially hit the tree right there.

So look, let me end this video here. There's a lot to dissect with ActiveTrack 360. I'm going to be making an updated tutorial because of the new settings that were released.

So be sure to stay tuned for that, and as always, I'll talk to you guys later. Peace.

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Billy Kyle
Billy Kyle

I make videos for the Internet. You can watch all of my drone videos on my YouTube channel and here on DroneXL.

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