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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know about other members to these forums, but my number one concern regarding cycling is not being noticed by cars. So by chance I came across this mini-drone on the internet. It follows the user wherever he/she goes via smart-phone. the current model is small and probably can be painted or stick yellow tape on for recognition. Basically you have a little friend behind you wherever you go. Plus it records you with video. Right now the price is $299 on e-bay which is not too much money for the gadget. The draw-back seems that it is only a 50 minute run-time so it will only work for short rides, or must recharge during the ride. Any thoughts? A dumb gadget or possibilities for a riding companion?

Smart Nano Drone Quadcopter 1 Plus App Control, GPS Following | eBay
 

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falconry may be an even better option.
 
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Helmet cam seems a better idea to me. More visible to an outraged motorist and thus might stop things from escalating. Easier to point at things. Less chance of failure.

For the most part, cameras are about what you can do after safety has gone bye bye. No camera will protect you from getting hit by a car.
 

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Looks like a fun little toy, but is seems like it's marketed toward narcissists who feel the need to record & admire themselves rather than as a safety device. The Fly6 or Fly12 would be a better option for the latter. For a safety camera (actually a camera to capture evidence) , you don't want the camera focused on you, but focused up the road or behind you to capture what the other guy did.
 

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This exact idea came up a while back with a few of my club mates - after several beers... "No, no... a drone that flies right above the lead rider with a light that lights him and the road in front of him..."
My club rides in the dark a few days/week. I actually like the idea of a small drone with a light pointing down. But - and it's a big but, I'd hate think a driver would be distracted by the drone... and run over a cyclist.
 

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They make lights that mount on the bike.

However, since it seems inevitable that the car manufacturers insist on shoving self-driving cars down our collective throats, I can foresee the day when cyclists will have their own personal lead out and/or follow car to accompany them on every ride. But if you get run over by your own personal self-driving car, then who do you blame?
 

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They make lights that mount on the bike.
Are you serious?! Lights? For bikes? Oh... man. This is a game-changer.

The idea behind the leader drone (again, after multiple beers) was to illuminate us as much as the road. Five years ago, the idea would've been totally unrealistic. But, at the rate the category is growing/innovating... who knows
 

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They make lights that mount on the bike.

However, since it seems inevitable that the car manufacturers insist on shoving self-driving cars down our collective throats, I can foresee the day when cyclists will have their own personal lead out and/or follow car to accompany them on every ride. But if you get run over by your own personal self-driving car, then who do you blame?
Going a bit off topic but I think self driving cars will make our lives as cyclists safer. Self-driving cars will be programmed to follow the rules of the road. They won't speed, fiddle with their cell phones, or drink coffee. Also self driving cars don't get impatient, angry or vindictive. Those alone should help
 

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The draw-back seems that it is only a 50 minute run-time so it will only work for short rides, or must recharge during the ride. Any thoughts? A dumb gadget or possibilities for a riding companion?
The link you provided says "Battery Capacity:900mAh Flight time: 10 mins" That's gonna be a darn short ride!
Drones that have 50min run time are thousands of dollars.
Yea, it's pretty much a dumb idea. Recharging during a ride? :eek:ut:

Besides, I can't see it working in any sort of urban area. Think about the drone weaving around power lines, bridges, overpasses, billboards, trucks, red-lights, street lights, etc etc etc.

It would be funny on a group ride to have a swarm of 20 drones following behind!
 

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I wish I could remember the name of this particular drone, but it was designed to be a follower and had an included camera. However, its speed limit is 20 mph, so it's useless for over half the members on this forum. If I also recall correctly, the price on this drone was around $600.

More practical safety measures are things like taking the lane, riding out of the door zone, wearing reflective clothing or using reflective tape, mounting forward and rear blinking lights, and even getting a horn (not a bell). As QQQ previously mentioned, helmet cameras are a great insurance policy but only for when safety has gone out the window. Mine proved incredibly useful when a drunk driver hit me 3.5 years ago. The driver's insurance company didn't dispute a single property or medical bill.

The other major thing we don't do enough is push our legislatures to pass more cycling-friendly laws. Over half the states have three-foot laws now, but they don't get enforced like they should, and the penalties for striking cyclists or pedestrians are pitiful. Only when the fear of injuring or killing a cyclist is instilled in motorists as a whole will we see a meaningful culture shift.
 

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I wish I could remember the name of this particular drone, but it was designed to be a follower and had an included camera. However, its speed limit is 20 mph, so it's useless for over half the members on this forum. If I also recall correctly, the price on this drone was around $600.
https://www.lily.camera

^that^ is what got us joking about having a "Spotlight Drone" to lead our dark rides. I have no interest in watching myself ride my bike. But seeing and being seen are kinda nice. Oh sure, there are obstacles - like obstacles and battery life, laws, etc. But again: self-driving cars. If "they" can figure that out, guessing a flying flashlight isn't much of a challenge.
 

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I think current affordable drones are too limited in speed and useful battery charge. Even I can do 35 mph going down a hill (of course the thing will have no problem catching up to me climbing back out of the valley).

May be better to get a self-driving car to follow you. Then, if you have a flat, just hop in the car.
 

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I think current affordable drones are too limited in speed and useful battery charge. Even I can do 35 mph going down a hill (of course the thing will have no problem catching up to me climbing back out of the valley).

May be better to get a self-driving car to follow you. Then, if you have a flat, just hop in the car.
Shux, instead following the car might as well ride in its draft and follow it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I never intended a drone would be a replacement to already in place safety practices mentioned throughout the thread. But I would like to add to the safety and being noticed on the road. In a way a drone is a silly idea but maybe novel at the same time.
 

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The link you provided says "Battery Capacity:900mAh Flight time: 10 mins" That's gonna be a darn short ride!
Drones that have 50min run time are thousands of dollars.
Yea, it's pretty much a dumb idea. Recharging during a ride? :eek:ut:

Besides, I can't see it working in any sort of urban area. Think about the drone weaving around power lines, bridges, overpasses, billboards, trucks, red-lights, street lights, etc etc etc.

It would be funny on a group ride to have a swarm of 20 drones following behind!
Drones with a 50 min run time are more than like in the many tens of thousands, if not hundreds. Currently the DJI Inspire 2 has a run time of around 30 to 40 min based on use (typically hover time), wind, camera use and features like auto track and follow reduce that time especially when using the avoidance sensors. It runs around 5 grand.

I just bought (and broke lol ) a dji mavic pro, a grand for 25 to 30 min flying time. What we typically do is rotate 4 batteries. And have a multi battery charger.
 

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I never intended a drone would be a replacement to already in place safety practices mentioned throughout the thread. But I would like to add to the safety and being noticed on the road. In a way a drone is a silly idea but maybe novel at the same time.
I'm thinking that it's the drone that's gonna be noticed not the cyclist. And while the driver is noticing the drone, maybe even trying to take a pic or video through the windshield and post on faceplace or sumsuch, the cyclist has a better chance of not being noticed, or forgotten about, and being run over by said driver.

Best not to put safety in devices but to place it the bounds of our own 5 senses.
 

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I think current affordable drones are too limited in speed and useful battery charge. Even I can do 35 mph going down a hill (of course the thing will have no problem catching up to me climbing back out of the valley).

May be better to get a self-driving car to follow you. Then, if you have a flat, just hop in the car.
The tech is just not there yet. Trees, poles, buildings, wires..... you would not make it 100 feet before the drone either lost tracking (they will return to take off point of just hover for a bit then return home).

My mavic pro can do 40 mph with no wind, or faster with tail wind. But at those speeds even with forward sensors... it will Lois tracking by trying to avoid obstacles. My 4 and a half year on on his bike with training wheels lost the tracking too :)

Maybe on a flat road, with nothing for miles would it work.

For longer rides, maybe tethering is an option, but you would have to keep a large battery pack in your backpack adding weight. Also have to worry about the line snagging...

I think the future is mini telescopic satellites that we can each own which will track is from orbit. Thing commercialized versions of the NRO toys :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Drones with a 50 min run time are more than like in the many tens of thousands, if not hundreds. Currently the DJI Inspire 2 has a run time of around 30 to 40 min based on use (typically hover time), wind, camera use and features like auto track and follow reduce that time especially when using the avoidance sensors. It runs around 5 grand.

I just bought (and broke lol ) a dji mavic pro, a grand for 25 to 30 min flying time. What we typically do is rotate 4 batteries. And have a multi battery charger.

"a dji mavic pro,"

Are you recommending this product?
 
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