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An open letter to Frank Wang, Founder and CEO of DJI.
1411 4 2020-6-10
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Felix Le Chat
lvl.1
United Kingdom
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I am a user of your technology. I suppose I fall into the category of “pro-sumer”. In my own case: the use your Mavic 2 Zoom is put to defines it as a “tool” rather than a “toy”.
  
This seems to be a state-of-mind that you are keen to promote: the use of DJI drones by private individuals in a legal, professional, morally responsible and thoughtfully constructive manner, hence your highly self-promoted “Drones For Good” initiative.

  
The drones you produce and market are superlative. (ignoring minor grumbles concerning features advertised as standard pre-launch and lacking in the delivered article: firmware bugs: the tendency to abandon ongoing firmware refinement of one line to a definitive condition of final excellence after the release of the latest new product: and incomprehensible and enforced user restrictions in direct contradiction to advertised operational capabilities) Setting a benchmark any other similar developer and producer of UAV tech finds difficult to match…. With the exception of AUTEL whose EVO2 is emerging as the only real threat to the top-end Mavic UAV’s.
  
I had absolutely no regrets in paying the pricetag attached to my Mavic 2 Zoom, even though it is clear that it was a stipend inflated as a result of it having the “DJI” marque stamped into its rear end. This is a “bird” I use consistently in a professional sphere of application: surveying historic Heritage buildings and archaeological sites, so far, without it letting me down.

What I am concerned about is the fact that across Europe: in less than two calendar years; my “pro-sumer” Mavic 2 Zoom will cease to be the essential operational tool I deploy it as. I will not be able to use it other than in a highly restricted manner because of its lack of “C” classification. As of November 2020 – any UAV produced and bought before that date will be automatically classified by a whole range of Aviation Authorities and devolved European Governments as “A4” – a “Legacy Drone” and as such be subject to the most inhibitive restrictions to be placed on the public use of drone technology.

  
As of November 2020: any new drone released will have to comply with a range of E.U. inhibitions and subsequently fall into “C” category operational parameters ranging from “C0” through to “C4”. In Europe: even the new Vanguard of the DJI fleet: the Mavic Air 2 does not carry a “C” classification, nor will any drone bought between June and November 2020, leaving those who purchase your products (Phantom, Phantom 4RTK, Mavic Pro, Zoom, Mini, Air2, Inspire, etc.) during this timeframe to become owners of obsolete and for the most part, unusable UAV’s after a grace period of two years culminating in 2022. It has also been laid out in a definitive statement from the British C.A.A. that No UAV produced or purchased before November 2020 and summarily classified as “A4 Legacy”  will be retroactively reclassified to carry a “C” classification.

  
What confuses me further is the fact that you seem quite happy to alienate the most significant part of your European and American consumer market. The majority of those people buying newly released DJI products are those people who have already bought DJI products. In the case of the Mavic Mini and the Mavic Air 2 – the self-same people who will be looking to mount their Mini’s and Air 2’s on wooden blocks as display pieces and paperweights after they are hobbled by their inevitable… and irreversible “A4” classification.
  
What confuses me totally is the fact that you seem to be courting the favour of the very people who are in the process of tying your hands. Those E.U. and American regulatory bodies whose Governments are clearly in the process of progressively pushing China’s nose out of the European and American marketplace in order to facilitate their own development of UAV technology. I can speak with some degree of experience here: having been approached by an elected representative of a British City Council which is in the process of setting up a Research and Development Program as part of creating a large scale manufacturing facility funded by European Union grants to produce a range of British Euro-compliant drones. What they want is for professional users of UAV’s to act as consultants and advisors.

  
But even though business doors are being shut in the face of Chinese Tech and I.T companies, you are happy to continue pandering to the very people Hell-bent on cutting your business legs out from under you. Your company continues to force increasing restrictions on the very people whose purchases of your products have lifted you to the elevated position you now occupy.

  
What I find inexcusable is that anyone in Europe paying for your newly released Mavic Air 2 before December 2020 faces owning a product that will be: in two years or less; an obsolete “A4 Legacy Drone” and only useable as a flying camera platform in specifically designated areas – with a maximum horizontal range of 400 feet and a maximum ceiling AGL of 400 feet.  Arguing the case quite convincingly that they may as well save their money and go out and buy a “toy” in the first place. I think, were it me in similar circumstances and facing another incidence of a smiling “friend” who was (metaphorically) shaking my hand with his right: and using his left to drive a knife into my back: I might be inclined to relax the constraints placed upon the users of my technology and allow them the luxury of acting like the responsible adults they are while they used my products (that are now THEIR property) in a legal, professional, morally responsible and thoughtfully constructive manner. At least that way: the people who invested in my success might be inclined to continue being a loyal and ongoing customer base. No advertising program is anywhere near as efficient as recommendation. Word-of-mouth is King. A truly happy and satisfied existing customer is a loyal customer who will create many other customers. Ask Jeff Bezos.

2020-6-10
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DJI Mindy
Administrator
Flight distance : 7 ft
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Hi Felix Le Chat, we appreciate your feedback about DJI product, we totally understand your concerns about the upcoming CE rules. The EU will adopt the new CE rules for the aircraft at the beginning of July 1, 2020. It has not been published yet and details are not finalized, and there are no organizations that can provide the new CE certification or classification.
Therefore, we are unable to provide more information about it at this moment, but we will pay close attention to the future release of CE rules. If there is more info we get from the related team, we will keep you updated.
2020-6-11
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crosswired
Second Officer
Flight distance : 139780 ft
Ireland
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DJI Mindy Posted at 6-11 05:08
Hi Felix Le Chat, we appreciate your feedback about DJI product, we totally understand your concerns about the upcoming CE rules. The EU will adopt the new CE rules for the aircraft at the beginning of July 1, 2020. It has not been published yet and details are not finalized, and there are no organizations that can provide the new CE certification or classification.
Therefore, we are unable to provide more information about it at this moment, but we will pay close attention to the future release of CE rules. If there is more info we get from the related team, we will keep you updated.

Hi Mindy,

hope DJI will take it seriously as, potentially, you'll have a thousands unhappy customers including myself
2020-6-11
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crindeblad
lvl.2
Flight distance : 491089 ft
Sweden
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DJI Mindy Posted at 6-11 05:08
Hi Felix Le Chat, we appreciate your feedback about DJI product, we totally understand your concerns about the upcoming CE rules. The EU will adopt the new CE rules for the aircraft at the beginning of July 1, 2020. It has not been published yet and details are not finalized, and there are no organizations that can provide the new CE certification or classification.
Therefore, we are unable to provide more information about it at this moment, but we will pay close attention to the future release of CE rules. If there is more info we get from the related team, we will keep you updated.

The New regulation was signed 12 March 2019. Whats missing?

EU regulation
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg_del/2019/945/oj

2020-6-23
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DJI Mindy
Administrator
Flight distance : 7 ft
Offline

crindeblad Posted at 6-23 16:31
The New regulation was signed 12 March 2019. Whats missing?

EU regulation

Sorry for the late response, your concerns have been forwarded to our R&D department for attention, we will update on our website once there is any progress regarding this.
2020-7-4
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