Chinese dron developer DJI will add offline operation due to the failure of the US military to cooperate

The new model of the company's driver, Phantom 3 SE

Earlier this month, it became known that the US military received a ban on the use of quadcopters by the Chinese company DJI. The problem is that the manufacturer of drones installed special software in their devices, which determines the location of the device in order to determine whether the drone is in an area that is prohibited from flying or in a normal one. On the one hand, this is correct, as owners of the copters will not be able to launch them in flight near important industrial facilities, nuclear power plants, airports and stadiums.

On the other hand, users of drones complain that when they buy a device, they are not entitled to use its functions at 100%. In addition, some DJI clients complained about “eavesdropping”. Despite the fact that the manufacturer denies everything, the US military still chose to refuse to cooperate with a Chinese company and discontinue the use of DJI copters.

Probably, the military didn’t like the fact that an attacker with proper skill, possessing the necessary equipment, could intercept the telemetry of the aircraft, and that the data were sent by the drone to the DJI server in China and in the USA. In any case, senior US military ordered to remove all DJI drones, remove all applications from this company, remove batteries and storage devices from devices.

Taking into account the current situation, the company DJI decided to accelerate the development of offline mode, which was reported a little earlier. In this mode, the copter does not transmit anything to the Network and does not accept anything. Probably, this new feature will appeal to many users of DJI copters. As for the military, it is not yet clear whether they will start working with these devices again, or whether the ban will remain relevant.

“We are working to create a local mode of operation, thus going to meet the interests of our corporate users, including public and private organizations that use DJI technology to conduct various types of operations around the world,” said DJI, representative of Brendan Schulman. The function in question will be ready by the end of September.

Work on this update was carried out for several months, it was planned to be released much later. But it was the United States Army, deciding to abandon DJI drones, contributed to the acceleration of work on the novelty.

The US military, by the way, doesn’t use a very large number of drones from a Chinese company - something like 300 pieces. Probably, DJI decided to meet the interests of the army (and a number of organizations in other countries too) due to reputational losses. After all, after the statements of the military, everyone began to write and talk about it, many media published news with headlines like “The US Army considers the drones of a Chinese manufacturer to be dangerous.” The DJI argue that the US military did not make complaints about possible vulnerabilities in the devices, the company also did not discuss cybersecurity issues with the American army.

Nevertheless, the management of the Chinese company decided to add the possibility of offline drones, so that other customers, both existing and potential, would not refuse to work with copters. “We are accelerating the release of what we have been working on for some time. Today, we announce this because our corporate clients are experiencing data security problems, and the statement by the US military only increased customer anxiety. Therefore, we will work as quickly as possible, ” according to a press release from DJI.

By the way, a few days ago, the company released a new model of the drone, Phantom 3 SE. It differs from the base model by a five-times longer video broadcast range, as well as 4K video support at 30 frames per second. In addition, the system can operate using the "visual positioning" function. This function works when there is no GPS signal, so that the copter can fly along a given route or still hang. The system speed is 56 km / h. If something goes wrong, the drone returns to the point of departure (for example, the battery is discharged).


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