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DJI’s new drones will soon be able to detect and warn you of airplanes and helicopters

Will they still send that information back to China?

dji mavic air in flight in front of trees
Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

In an effort to make flight safer for everyone, DJI has announced that it will be putting professional-grade aircraft avoidance systems into all new consumer drones that weigh over 250 grams.

That means that pilots of their drones will be able to see other aircraft, giving them time to maneuver away from potential collisions.

Why this matters

With the recent shutdowns of major airports due to drone sightings, all eyes are on the drone industry. Adding safety equipment like AirSense before official legislation means DJI can do it on its own terms.

  • ADS-B (the sensors powering AirSense) will be required on all aircraft in Canada and the US by 2020.
  • DJI takes the view that there are already more drones in the sky than planes, so the company is taking a preventative stance and adding the sensors to consumer drones.
  • Only receivers are being added though, so other aircraft won’t be able to see the drones.
  • ADS-B is already on drones like the Mavic 2 Enterprise version.
  • The system can track multiple aircraft over distances up to 200 miles.
  • DJI has been working closely with the FAA and groups like AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) on the plans.
  • With all eyes looking eastward for potential spying issues, DJI will need all the goodwill it can generate.

With DJI being the undisputed class-leader for consumer drones, expect other manufacturers to follow its lead. This can only be a net positive for the fledgling drone industry, as the traditional aircraft community has approached the subject of drones with suspicion (at best).

What do you think? Glad to see DJI taking a proactive approach to this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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