In a recent cat-and-mouse challenge, a Jaguar XJ, driven by movie stunt driver Mark Higgins, took on drone pilot and racer JaeHong Li, who flew a DJI Inspire 1 aircraft at the Zhuhai International Circuit in China.
According to DJI, Higgins and Li used the challenge to highlight how technology is developing in both the automotive and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) sectors: The UAS used autonomous circling and 360-degree camera searching, and the Jaguar benefited from electric power-assisted steering to improve responsiveness and feedback, as well as four on-board cameras.
“Drones are becoming increasingly integrated into society, and they can do some amazing things these days,” explains Higgins. “So when Jaguar offered up the XJ and all its technology to go up against one of the world’s top drone pilots, I jumped at the chance.”
During the challenge, Higgins tried to out run the drone through an industrialized zone containing shipping containers, tree-lined boulevards, pit garages and an underground car park.
“The biggest challenge here was having a drone film a drone racing a car,” says Chinmoy Lad, a spokesperson for DJI. “The coordination required between the three separate machines, as well as those behind the machines, was extraordinary. They certainly displayed their skill here – assisted very much by the on-board technology, which helped the pilots stabilize and maneuver in the required fashion.”
Li adds, “Flying against the car gave us some interesting insight into how this kind of technology can be used for filming cars, and I think we’ve shown there’s some big potential for future movie car-chase sequences.”
A video of the challenge can be found here.