How ActiveTrack works on the DJI Mavic Air

How does ActiveTrack exactly work on the DJI Mavic Air? Well, this video that just appeared on YouTube explains almost everything in detail. ActiveTrack allows you to have your drone follow and film you as walk, hike, run or in this case bike. Does ActiveTrack work in the same way as other drones from DJI? This video will answer most of your questions in great detail.

DJI’s Active Track explained

We already know ActiveTrack from other drones from DJI, for instance, the Spark, the Mavic Pro, and the Phantom Series. How is it different on the Mavic Air compared to those drones?

Improvements: obstacle-avoidance sensors

The Mavic Air ActiveTrack is better in some ways. Mostly due to the improved obstacle-avoidance sensors (it has sensors in the back as well now) and it seems to be more accurate in tracking moving objects.

The Mavic Air can track you in various ways. It can track your steps and film you from behind. It can track you in profile and track you while flying sideways (watch out for obstacles as the Mavic Air does not have sensors mounted on the sides). And it can track you as you are coming towards the drone. In that case, it will fly away from you backward. Whatever option you use, be sure to give the drone plenty of time to respond to your actions. Quick turns or movements on your part or even trees that block the drone’s view of you can quickly end ActiveTrack.

Missing features: follow-me and dynamic home point

However, unlike the Spark and the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air lacks two important features. One is the follow-me feature where it follows the controller even without a visual lock on the subject. And two, the Mavic Air does not have the automatic dynamic home point option that we know from the Spark and the Mavic Pro as well. The dynamic home point is useful as the drone continues to refresh it’s home point while following you.

ActiveTrack is only able to track you up to 34 mph and that is only achieved under ideal circumstances. In the video clip below from DC Rainmaker, the drone seems to top out at around 20 mph.

The Mavic Air allows you to use ActiveTrack both with and without the controller. When you use it without the controller and fly the drone straight from your phone, ActiveTrack is limited to following you up to 300 feet from its home point. Once you go past the 300 feet the drone will stop following you even though it does still record. This is where the dynamic home point solution would come in handy as it would allow you to use ActiveTrack without the controller and for greater distances.

In the video, it is also pointed out that ActiveTrack with the controller is far more accurate and better able to track the subject that when using it from your smartphone. With the controller, the success rate is around 80% whereas when only using the phone this number drops to around 50% success rate. Something to keep in mind.

The conclusion of the video is that ActiveTrack will not be able to follow you over long distances or through technical terrain or complex movements. However, ActiveTrack is useful for B-roll type footage where you film only for a few seconds at a time.

One question that remains unanswered in this video is whether ActiveTrack will enable the drone to follow you when there is a difference in elevation. We will confirm whether the Maiv Air is able to do so.

One last thing that stood out in the video was the moving and shaking of the gimbal in certain situations. This is not something we have experienced but please let us know if you have.

DC Rainmaker’s video

Watch the video below if you have a chance. It is very informative.

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Note II: If you are in the market for the new DJI Mavic Air, check out this article with tips on where you can buy it.

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