The Tuareg Rally was a great way to see first-hand how technology is being used everywhere. The Rally’s press team was using an 8-propeller video drone, which was a big improvement over the autogyro used at the Breslau Rally last year. (Although the quality of the video may not have been as good).
This was the first time I’ve attended an event that was being filmed in this way. I made a short video of the drone as it filmed the assembly point at the Port of Alméria with its onboard GoPro camera.
You can see some of the resulting footage during the first 40 seconds of this video on YouTube. See it filming me filming it at time code 00:24.
Reinhold Haug of the Tuareg Rally Press team was operating the drone. I was impressed by how easy it seemed to control. Having briefly tried to pilot the Parrot AR.Drone using an iPhone when it first came out a little over a year ago, this seemed much simpler, although unlike the AR.Drone Reinhold wasn’t able to see what the camera was filming in real-time.
When I asked him about it, he told me it was a DIY drone built using widely available materials according to instructions developed in community projects. I didn’t catch the name, but it may have been an ArduCopter.
On the second day of the rally, I got a few short clips of Reinhold operating the drone at the starting line of the race.
It was interesting to see how he used it to film the cars before the start signal and watch one of the professional photographers at work at the same time.
Unfortunately, that same day, the drone suffered a small crash. One of the servo-motors was damaged, and there was no way to get a replacement, so that was the last time I saw it.
This was not the first time I’ve seen a drone at an automotive event. Someone had one last year at the Europa Truck Trial in Montalieu-Vercieu, France, but as far as I know no one was filming with it there.