Photo credit: Virginia Tech Daily
Virginia Tech’s impact labs wanted to see exactly what would happen when a drone crashes into a car windshield. This lab has already conducted several controlled collisions that have been pivotal to producing safer cars, football helmets, and even toys, so this was an important test to say the least. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulation restricted commercial drone use in urban and suburban areas by prohibiting flying over moving vehicles due to their concern that a drone hitting the windshield of a moving car could obstruct the driver’s view of the road or injure the occupants. Read more for the short 3-second video and additional information.
The drone used was a DJI Mavic 2 Pro mounted to a pneumatic sled that was propelled down a linear track toward a custom-built windshield frame that contained parts of a salvaged Toyota Camry. The team hoped to identify a threshold below which a drone could safely be flown overhead without smashing the windshield by varying the impact speed. If impacted between 25 mph and 62.5 mph, only streaks of rubber and plastic transferred from the drone as it slid up the glass, but at 67 mph, a web of cracks appeared across the windshield as it bowed inward.
- PACK LIGHT, FLY FREE: at less than 249 g, it weighs about as much as an apple and fits in the palm of your hand. compact and convenient, this small drone is your ideal travel companion, transforming how you capture your favorite memories
- OCUSYNC 2.0 VIDEO TRANSMISSION: mini 2 supports up to 10km of hd video transmission and has excellent anti-interference capabilities, giving you the ability to fly farther and see clearer
- POWERFUL PERFORMANCE: with a max battery life of 31 minutes, dji mini 2 grants more than enough time to compose the perfect shot. mini 2 can resist level 5 winds and take off at a max altitude of 4,000 meters, so your footage is stable even when flying along a windy coastline or high above an alpine forest
- 4X ZOOM: there’s no need to get so close for your dream shot. 4x digital zoom makes it safer and more convenient when transitioning between shots of varying distance and composition
- QUICKSHOTS: with just a few taps, dji mini 2 automatically records and shoots professional-level videos to share directly on social media. whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced flyer, the dji fly app helps you produce impressive results complete with soundtracks and filters
State Farm claims inspections are the kind of operation where drones can offer huge advantages. They also required a meaningful expansion of the existing regulations. The intersection of those factors — an opportunity to help realize the potential of this technology that will also advance the industry as a whole — is exactly where our mandate lies as a test site,” said Mark Blanks, Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) director.