Plenty of the latest drones from DJI, Yuneec and other manufacturers have smart tracking features. But the technology is still being perfected. And not many of them have been used at night while lighting the way for a brave mountain biker.
The video below features Loïc Bruni, the 2015 elite world champion of Red Bull’s Mountain Bike competition. So he’s obviously pretty good at what he does. But can he do it in the dark with only a drone to guide him?
The downhill night-time pursuit was illuminated by a drone with a powerful LED light. It took place on Bruni’s home track in Mandelieu. Watch him take on the course at full speed…
Speaking to RedBull, Bruni said [in French]: “Technically it was quite tense at times! The light was above me and the drone was flying along the track. The movement of the drone and the trees made enormous shadows that were moving fast on the ground.
“So all my usual landmarks were disturbed. I know the track by heart but with these shadows, I was surprised while riding: I no longer recognized anything. It was really a big challenge. Sometimes I had to guess what was going to follow and anticipate the trail. It looked simpler on paper than it actually was!”
Drones are giving new levels of creativity to filmmakers across all disciplines. This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen extreme sports and drone technology come together. Often they capture the action from a unique aerial perspective and sometimes they even get involved.
Recently drones have been assisting Skydives, and not long ago a free-running film made with a drone won an award at the New York Drone Film Festival.
Bruni explains that the idea of going down a mountain on a bike with a drone providing the only source of light was a creative and challenging idea. “It all started when Hadrien Picard contacted with Red Bull. They had this crazy idea of making a night video with a flying light on a drone,” he said.
“The idea with was unique and original, so I said ‘it’s cool, it’s never been done, let’s do it'”.