What Can We Read into DJI’s Drone Racing Ambitions?

This week the drone industry’s leading manufacturer, DJI, launched an FPV kit for drone racing enthusiasts.

One thing to point out first of all is that the kit doesn’t actually include a drone, which may come as a surprise to many.

Instead, DJI is essentially making its low latency transmission and camera technology available to racing enthusiasts in the form of four products: FPV goggles, an FPV Air Unit Transmission Module, an FPV remote controller and an FPV camera.

The DJI Digital FPV System has been developed to combine smooth HD video with low latency and long-range transmission. All three are important factors in the FPV experience.

So what does this mean for the future?

This isn’t the first time DJI has stepped into the FPV market. For a few years now the Chinese manufacturer has been selling FPV Goggles, albeit much larger ones than your usual FPV racer would wear.

DJI also has a little-known range of propulsion systems and ESCs for drone racing enthusiasts, the Snail and Takyon. Both were launched in 2017 to give FPV pilots another way to customize their quads without compromising on performance or reliability.

With all of these products in mind, the only remaining question is: when will DJI combine them all as part of a ready-to-fly package?

It seems as though that move is an inevitable one. But DJI’s reluctance to launch anything along those lines as of yet makes a lot of sense. Unlike aerial photography, drone racing hasn’t yet penetrated the mass market.

Although that is slowly shifting. There are plenty of drone racing leagues now competing around the world and plenty of media partnerships ensuring the sport is gaining exposure like never before.

What DJI has done is ensure it’s in a strong position to capture buyers moving from regular drones to racing quads. With the launch of specialist transmission gear, the company has also started the process of reaching out to the existing drone racing community.

Which is important. The drone racing community is knowledgeable, used to working with modular platforms and tougher to impress than your average first-time drone buyer. First impressions are crucial.

So what should we expect from DJI in the coming months? Our best guess is a platform – or at least an official partnership with an established name in the FPV space – that can bring together all of this racing gear.

As game-changing as DJI’s transmission equipment and racing accessories may be, it will generate far greater revenue once it’s part of a full package that makes getting into FPV racing easy for the mass market.

Watch this space. This looks like the next market DJI is looking to conquer.

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