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All about DJI's Active Track intelligent drone flight mode

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

In this new series of posts, we will be looking into DJI's intelligent flight modes to learn why they its exist and how or when to use them. ActiveTrack was a real success and is until today a really good reason for buying drones made by DJI. Have you ever tried to film somebody (or yourself) while doing an activity? It is really not easy to have the person or the object in the middle of the picture, especially if you change the speed or the direction.


Summary:


Active Track Intelligent Flight Mode DJI
DJI Active Track in action

What is DJI Active Track mode?


DJI's Active Track intelligent flight mode is a sophisticated feature that allows DJI drones to track and follow a moving subject automatically, using advanced computer vision algorithms and artificial intelligence.


The DJI ActiveTrack flight mode started with the DJI Phantom Series. It is designed to simplify the process of capturing high-quality video footage and photos of moving objects, such as people, animals, vehicles, and more. Its objective is pretty simple, choose your subject to film such as a car, a horse or anything moving really, press on your screen and the camera locks in position following your subject.


While tracking your filming subject, your drone will use its vision and sensing systems to maintain safe flight (not available on all drones), letting you focus more on getting the right shot. Since its release in 2016, it became a staple of the DJI App and equipped every drone model released since - find out which ones


How does DJI Active Track mode work?


To work properly, you will need to enable your drone's P-mode (Positioning mode) which is your standard/default flight mode. In this mode, all the sensors on your drone are active, GPS and any available vision or infrared sensors. This results in precise hovering of your drone, even if you stop controlling it with your remote controller. The Active Track intelligent flight mode requires a strong GPS signal which is only available under this P-mode.

DJI P Mode Main Controller Settings
DJI P Mode Main Controller Settings

Once you’re in ActiveTrack mode, go ahead and tap or draw a box around the subject onscreen while using DJI GO 4 app or DJI Fly app. You must first select the target object they wish to track using the DJI Go mobile app. Once the target is selected, your drone's camera will lock onto it and begin tracking it automatically, adjusting the drone's flight path and camera angle to keep the target in frame.


Active Track uses a variety of advanced computer vision techniques, such as object detection, tracking, and prediction algorithms, to accurately follow the target subject. It can even detect and avoid obstacles in the drone's flight path, making it easier and safer to capture footage in challenging environments.


💡 Try your best to include the whole subject within the box, while keeping out as much of the background as possible. This will help maintain the most accurate tracking of your subject.


What are DJI Active Track mode options?


DJI Active Track Flight Mode Options
DJI Active Track Flight Mode Options

In addition to its advanced tracking capabilities, Active Track also includes a range of other features designed to enhance the user experience. For example, users can choose from several different tracking modes, such as Trace, Profile, and Spotlight, each of which offers a different perspective on the target subject.


Trace

Your drone will follow your chosen target as it moves, maintaining a distance that you set. You’re still be able to move your drone and its camera around your filming subject using your remote controller.


Profile

Your drone will fly in front of your filming subject, staying at the set distance. Like Trace Mode, you can also circle the subject using the remote controller.


Active Track Spotlight

In this mode, your drone will keep the camera on the subject but allows you to move the drone as anywhere you want.


🚨 Note, not all drones will feature every option, depending on their release year and integrated features.


How to use DJI Active Track mode?


One of the key benefits of Active Track is its ability to track and follow subjects even as they move around, change direction, or accelerate. This makes it ideal for capturing dynamic, action-packed footage of sports, wildlife, and other fast-moving subjects.


🚗 When following any vehicle in movement, make sure to be a safe distance from others and/or surrounding infrastructure. It can be very unexpected for other drivers to see a drone coming their way and the last thing you want is to distract another driver for example.


🏄‍♀️ The Active Track mode is perfect for outdoor sports. Never worry about keeping the surfer in our lens anymore, film yourself paddling down the river or running as fast as you can (Let's be honest, we've tried to outrun our drone and failed). ActiveTrack will recognize and keep up to give you an action shot all your friends and social media fans will love!


🌊When filming over water, this is a little easier although make sure you allow enough battery time for a safe landing. If you're filming above water, it might be a good idea to add a lens to your camera to avoid glare in your videos.


What to be aware of when using DJI Active Track mode?


Aircraft Speed


Remember, ActiveTrack only works in P-mode, which is considerably slower than Sport mode. For example, the Mavic Pro can reach 40 mph in S mode but is limited to 22 mph in P-mode. Make sure that the subject you want to keep up with is moving within the drone’s P-mode speed.

Colour

The way Active Track is able to identify and follow its subject is by colour contrast between the subject and background. This means that the greater the colour difference, the better Active Track performs. Make sure that your subject is wearing clothing that helps them stick out of the environment. For example, if your friend is snowboarding, a red outfit will do much better than a white one.

Blocking

If your subject gets out of view during filming, such as enters a tunnel or group of trees, your drone will do its best to relocate the subject when they pop back into view. However, if the subject is out of site for too long, the drone could “lose” sight of it. If this happens, re-select the subject to resume tracking.


Sensors


While filming in Active Track mode, your drone will use its sensors to estimate its surroundings. Note that some models only have front sensors whilst others will feature side and below sensors to help the drone avoid obstacles. In every case, try to fly in a clear area at all times.


Which drones have DJI Active Track mode?


Overall, DJI's Active Track intelligent flight mode is a powerful tool for capturing high-quality video footage and photos of moving objects. Its advanced computer vision algorithms and artificial intelligence make it easy and intuitive to use, while its robust tracking and obstacle avoidance capabilities ensure that users can capture stunning footage safely and reliably.


The following drones series all feature DJI's active track intelligent flight mode:

  • DJI Mavic

  • DJI Inspire

  • DJI Phantom

  • DJI Air

Compare All DJI drones in one place and choose the best one for you here


✅ We hope this blog post helped you understand a more about this DJI intelligent flight mode. If you want to learn more, check out all our tutorials. Please leave a comment or update Drone Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone! Have fun and safe flying!


Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone rules and regulations.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning we will get a commission if you decide to purchase via them. This has no costs for you but helps Dronemade stay free for all.

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