BYD teams up with DJI to launch vehicle-mounted drone, vows US$700m investment

Industry watchers pointed out that vehicle-mounted drone could resolve the issue of limited in-car visual perception, ensuring a better field of view for the motorist.

BYD (比亚迪), the world’s biggest EV maker by sales, announced on January 17 that it had partnered with DJI (大疆科技), the world’s largest drone maker, to launch a car-mounted drone system.

The system is mounted atop a BYD car model and integrates an automotive-grade hangar for storing the drone, enabling battery swap and auto-recharging.

With the press of a button, the driver can command the drone to take off and land, as well as beam back high-definition aerial images with low latency.

Invest in installments

BYD, which overtook Tesla in quarterly deliveries for Q4 2023, said it plans to invest 5 billion yuan (US$700 million) into this tie-up with DJI in several installments over the next few years.

According to the plan, the Player edition of BYD’s luxury all-terrain SUV U8 will be equipped with this drone system.

Photo courtesy of DJI

Industry watchers pointed out that vehicle-mounted drone could resolve the issue of limited in-car visual perception, ensuring a better field of view for the motorist.

Complementary technologies

BYD and DJI said their technologies are complementary.

A set of features within the BYD car, such as its navigation system, sensors and smart control algorithms, allow the drone to cruise and avoid obstacles autonomously.

On its part, the drone, equipped with high-resolution cameras and multiple sensors, captures real-time images of traffic conditions when airborne.

This configuration provides the driver with an extra layer of driving safety protection, BYD said in a statement.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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