10 May 2020 | Propeller Heads Newsletter

The new DJI Mavic Air 2 has been released upon the world and with it some pretty awesome improvements from the original Mavic Air. The new Air has an updated APAS system (Advanced Pilot Assistant System), 3D mapping with the help of APAS, and improved re-acquisition of lost subjects abilities.

In the video linked in this article, DC Rainmaker tests the new Mavic Air 2 against the Skydio 2. He runs both drones through an “obstacle course” of trees, signs, and even over water to test their obstacle avoidance capabilities.

While both are impressive drones, they both have strengths and weaknesses. Unsurprisingly, the Mavic Air appears to win when it comes to reliability — it’s much better at sticking close to the subject and doesn’t lose sight as often. The downside? It’s a bit slower than the Skydio 2. However, unless your department plans to hire Usain Bolt to serve warrants, or climb ladders the slower speed compared to the Skydio 2 is a non-issue.

The Skydio 2 was certainly faster than the Mavic Air, demonstrated by its ability to keep up with DC Rainmaker even while he sped away on his bicycle. The downside is lack of consistency — the Skydio doesn’t seem to always make the right choices when presented with complex obstacles. From our own testing at Skyfire, the Skydio 2 also has some challenges indoors due to lower lighting.

Both are solid drones, with amazing advancements in the field of subject tracking.