Sounds Safe: Trying To Fly A Drone Inside A Moving Vehicle

November 30, 2017


This is a video of Youtube channel The Action Lab flying a drone inside a moving minivan to answer the question, "Will the drone stay with the car as it moves or will it stay in the same location relative to the ground?" Apparently because some people are so successful in life and trusting that they have other questions to answer besides, "Where's my next meal coming from?" and "Did somebody poison it?"

First, I test what happens when all the doors are closed and I try to fly the drone in the car, then I test what happens when I leave the doors and the trunk open. This is a really neat idea that teaches about frames of reference and also air resistance

So, what's the answer? I guess you'll just have to watch the video to find out! "You didn't watch it, did you?" Jesus, do I look like a guy who isn't already over his mobile data plan?

Keep going for the video and get your learn on. Or stay ignorant like me, it's entirely up to you.

Thanks to Christian, who agrees you should have gotten that van up to at least 45MPH before taking off, and preferably 60MPH.

  • smeagele

    He got a free $1,000 drone to do that. wtf. Give me a drone I'll do some crazy interesting stuff. Give me 10 drones and lets see if it can fly me over the grand canyon.

  • Rick Fitz

    I seriously wanted this video to end with the drone slicing his jugular. Insufferable.

    Has he ever attended a physics class?

  • Dao

    This reminds me of the time I was driving a friend's car fully loaded with passengers and he set fire to his own roof lining and it burnt the hair off the top of all of our heads and what is a drone?

  • Jonathan Tippett

    You could do the exact same thing with MUCH less danger with a simple balloon. Throw the balloon in the air then move the car. Then move the car and throw the balloon. It's all the same principals but without the need to constantly stop and start

  • Meseta

    Unfortunately, that wouldn't work in the way you expected. The balloon has low mass and is buoyant. This means the balloon will actually try to move to the front of a car that's accelerating forward (there are several videos on Youtube demonstrating this). A drone on the other hand, having relatively high mass compared to a balloon, will get "left behind" when the car accelerates forward, and will move to the back of the car. There are two principles at work, and a different one dominates in either case, with opposite results.

  • Kelly

    In the end. Its all about inertia.


    Blown away he's married

  • Rick Fitz

    To a woman!

  • steve holt

    Meh. Once you've had sex while driving 65 mph down the highway, the bar for vehicular hijinks has been raised.

  • 65? Pah!
    On motorways over here you can (legally) do 70 mph.

  • steve holt

    Then I'm buying a ticket to the U.K.

  • steve holt

    I was alone at the time. Just kidding!

  • Dao

    Steve Holt! ✊️

  • Meseta

    I hope he remembered to turn off the drone's Optical positioning. The Mavic has a downward-pointing camera and uses optical flow to help it stay stable and make it easy to position-hold when close to the ground. If the optical positioning locks onto the the floor of the car, then the drone's going to automatically try to stay with the car when it moves, ruining the experiment.

  • n.g.

    No, he didn't. I don't think he knew what a drone was before banggood gave him one. And why would they give him one?

  • GeneralDisorder

    Advertising costs money. Giving away stuff costs less.

  • Talon184

    This seems like kind of a poorly laid out experiment. I'm no scientist or anything, but it seems like the van would need to be in motion prior to the drone lifting off to see if inertia is going to affect it.

    They should tether the drone to a base point in the center of the van to stabilize it and keep it from going wild and then get accelerate to about 30 mph while the drone is still sitting on the base. Once they are at a steady speed, they should have the drone lift up and see what happens then.

    Again, I'm no scientist, but this seems like a better scenario for this experiment.

    Anyone know anything about physics who can tell me if I'm on the right track or completely off base?

    Oh, and the dude's voice grated on my nerves...

  • Kelly

    Just get a balloon. If you just testing hovering object it would be no different. It has nothing to do with airflow. It’s all about inertia.

  • GeneralDisorder

    He's like a discount version of the backdoor scientist who's basically a discount Grant Thompson.

    You get what you pay for.

  • Jenness

    She should have floored it at least once.

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