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DJI seems to make its first drone for FPV racing

According to FCC filings found by DroneDJ, DJI appears to be preparing to release a first-person view (FPV) drone. The public agency lately recorded three products— “DJI FPV Air Unit,” “DJI FPV Remote Controller,” and “DJI FPV Goggles.”

In the past, DJI has been dabbling with FPV drones. In 2017, the firm published a PlayStation VR-sized headset named DJI Goggles working with a couple of distinct DJI drones. But it was about as far as the Chinese business ever went with the concept that a somewhat clunky solution.

In the meantime, an “FPV air system” with specialized goggles and a controller sounds more like a racing drone, or at least elevated maneuverability. It would make sense; DJI is the far-off leader in consumer drones and has seen competition like GoPro, 3D Robotics, and lately Parrot (to differing degrees) walk away from the industry. But DJI has no drone tailor-made for the market’s increasing drone racing / FPV slice, which consists mostly of custom-built drones produced from off-the-shelf components.

Not only are these days drone racing contests and leagues appearing left and right, but there is also a boom in demand for FPV drones in the videography globe. Talented FPV drone pilots put their abilities to work from viral, Formula Drift shooting, and Kohl’s advertisements. It makes sense to design a product that makes this trend easy to tap, particularly with the knowledge of DJI in developing tiny cameras and drones capable of capturing high-quality footage.

However, one thing to remember is that drones from FPV tend to crash a lot. They move much quicker and can be difficult to manage, and pilots often do not have access to aids such as GPS locking or automatic hovering. A large reason why FPV drones are often cobbled together from off-the-shelf components is that when they crash, it makes it simpler to solve them. If and when the drone is released, how DJI compensates for this will be something to look for.

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