Chinese auto giant BYD has announced an unusual new feature for its Yangwang U8 luxury off-roader, aimed at buyers who are drone enthusiasts.

    The company says it’s the world’s first vehicle-integrated UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System), with an “integrated automotive-grade drone bay”.

    Announced as part of its 2024 Dream Day, BYD says it features “intelligent storage, automatic battery swapping, and charging management, enabling takeoff and landing with one click”, while supporting a “high-definition high frame rate, and low-latency image transmission”.

    X (formerly Twitter) posts from DealsDrone show the Yangwang U8’s infotainment integration and the landing of the drone on the roof of the vehicle.

    A DJI Mavic 3 Pro drone is stored inside the roof box on the luxury SUV, which also houses a battery swapping robot that will remove the battery on the drone and move it to a charging dock.

    The roof box has an electronically retractable lid. When the drone is preparing to take off, the lid will open and then close once the drone is operational in the air.

    According to a video posted by New Energy Knight on YouTube, the system can be controlled via the infotainment system or remote control.

    The DJI Mavic 3 Pro can capture video in 4K at up to 60 frames per second. It can follow the car automatically or be controlled manually depending on the operator’s personal preferences.

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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