Today

Australia has been at the forefront of using drones to keep swimmers and surfers safe and warn them of any nearby sharks. Jason Iggleden, a builder from Sydney, said that the idea for a shark-spotting app was so obvious to him that he filed for a patent and sold everything he owned to develop and launch his new app, called Drone Shark.

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Boeing’s autonomous air taxi completes its first flight

On Tuesday, Boeing’s autonomous air taxi completed its first flight in Manassas, Va. The aircraft takes off and lands vertically (VTOL) but transitions into a horizontal flight path once airborne. A number of other companies, such as Bell, Volocopter, and eHang are developing similar air taxis.

Yesterday

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), all inbound and outbound flights to Newark Liberty International Airport were halted when two drones were seen flying close-by on Tuesday evening. The drones were seen flying at an altitude of 3,500 feet (!) over Teterboro Airport, which is about 15 miles north of Newark Airport. These drone sightings follow only weeks after both Gatwick and Heathrow Airport in the UK were temporarily closed because of alleged drone sightings.

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DJI is serious about growing their enterprise business. Just watch the DJI Airworks keynote, if you were in any doubt. This is made clear again today as they announce an upgraded support program for business customers who buy a new Mavic 2 Enterprise Zoom, Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual or Phantom 4 RTK drone. The plan adds basic repair and replacement coverage for one year after the initial purchase, including up to two product replacements for any single drone at a small, standard fee. The new plan is similar to DJI’s for-consumers-only, Care Refresh plan, but now free of charge for business customers. As such a customer, you only pay a small fee when you actually need a replacement for your drone.

DJI’s Enterprise Shield will remain available and can also be used by customers who had already bought an enterprise-type drone from DJI and are looking for extra peace of mind. The difference between Enterprise Shield and the new, upgraded support program is that under the first you are entitled to unlimited free replacements, which is not the case with this new support program. And Enterprise Shield also covers other commercial grade drones such as the DJI Matrice series. See below for all the details.

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What does the new firmware update for the DJI Phantom 4 RTK mean for drone mapping experts and other commercial drone pilots who use this drone for their day to day business? We checked in with Paul Aitken, a drone mapping expert, and from DroneU to get his take on the latest firmware update for the DJI Phantom 4 RTK.

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This morning, DJI released a firmware update for the DJI Phantom 4 RTK. This is the drone, we said would change everything for the drone mapping market. The new firmware (version 01.07.0116) promises to resolve a number of minor issues but the focus clearly is on making the DJI Phantom 4 RTK a better drone for mapping operations. To do so, DJI added a number of improvements, such as the ability to use the remote controller without a built-in display for use with Mobile SDK apps, a Timed Shooting mode in Photogrammetry and Linear Flight operations, the ability to set the margin of the operation area automatically when planning a Photogrammetry operation and a lot more. Read all the details below and be sure to share your experience after you updated your DJI Phantom 4 RTK with us in the comments.

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