Ford and DJI partner to offer 100k Award for mobile launch platform

DJI Developer Challenge - $100,000 Prize
DJI Developer Challenge – $100,000 Prize

The inspiration for this project / award came from a commercial Ford shot with Sky Eye Media in Canada in April of 2015.  Chris Basic was tasked with a night landing on the back of a moving 2015 F-150.  Primarily DJI had been simply concentrating aerial cinematography / imagery.  DJI has obviously seen the light as it pertains to the marketing benefit of the Humanitarian aspect of drones.  Over the past year after witnessing Skycatch’s efforts in Nepal with Patrick Meier of they decided that humanitarian projects would add a bunch of the positive reinforcement that drones need right now with the regulatory and safety issues that are top of mind with the public.

The mission that inspired DJI to enter the humanitarian space:

DJI recognizing that this marketing was valuable created their own version of this mission and a few other Drone Humanitarian success stories.

The original “MOVING VEHICLE” landing.

S1000 DJI Drone and Ford F150
S1000 DJI Drone and Ford F150

I have been heavily involved in the awards and one of problems or symptoms that I am witnessing is an effort of manufacturers trying to own the humanitarian space.  I think independent awards should attempt to pool the resources of all of the manufacturers into one place with a common goal of enhancing the perception of the market as a whole.

I think ford and DJI Global being newcomers to this vertical should open themselves to the world and all of the manufacturers in order to build their brand equity.  The author introduced FLIR to DJI early in 2014 and the XT was a result of this effort. 3DR, despite their lagging performance in the RTF sphere and their rumoured discontinuation of the DIY space I think led the way primarily with the Orangutan Conservation and Philipine typhoon disaster recovery.

While this seems critical, I am happy to see these companies getting on board with these humanitarian efforts, however I would love to see the altruism aspect come shining through a little brighter.

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