Camera drones with new Nissans prompt concern
While I am still coming to terms with the death of ’90s DJ, Robert Miles, the music from whom reminds me a little too strongly of my misspent youth, a more contemporary track by Katy Perry makes the pertinent point of a current societal trend of focussing so hard on living our lives through a lens that we can become unaware of real-life dangers.
Within the realm of motoring safety, the increasing versatility of mobile ‘phones has led to increased driver distraction. Unable to distance themselves from texting, communicating through social media apps, or taking ‘selfies’ behind the wheel, drivers are less likely to spot and react to danger, should they be preoccupied with issues other than driving.
Technology has also heralded the arrival of flying cameras, ‘drones’, within the price-point of regular non-professional users but safety concerns have been highlighted with their use by untrained operators.
Safety concern – by Nissan?
With car manufacturers trying every possible trick to keep new sales buoyant, Nissan has adopted a rather unusual approach, by selling its X-Trail SUV with a Parrot Bebop 2 Drone as being “perfect partners for capturing family adventures”.
While Nissan GB does not specify in its formal press release that the drone should not be used on the highway, even if it is implied, I do not believe that I am being a kill-joy by questioning the decision to sell a flying camera with a new car. It worries me that an inexperienced drone flyer (which appears to be piloting both his Nissan and drone at fairly high speed in the above press photograph) will still be distracted from real dangers, in favour of obtaining the ultimate ‘selfie’ shot to share with friends online. Aside from the driving dangers, the aforementioned issues with inexperienced drone operators also apply.
Other than the generic advice sheet provided by Parrot, the drone manufacturer, which a representative at Nissan GB informed me puts the onus on the customer to check the local legislation, I enquired what other steps Nissan GB was taking to ensure that its customers were aware of the safety implications of flying a drone, especially while driving off-road. I have yet to receive a response.