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.
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.