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Autel Robotics Activation Protocol

Agustine

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Just passing along information from Autel.

On December 21st of 2020, Autel Robotics released firmware version v2.5.18 via our OTA (Over the Air) servers and manual file download on our website. This release was accompanied by iOS and Android updates for the Autel Explorer app (v1.8.13 and v1.1.7.19 accordingly).
With these updates came a new activation protocol for all Evo II aircraft upon upgrade to v2.5.18. An activation of an aircraft proceeds to record only the aircraft’s serial number and the timestamp from the first time that unit was connected to the Autel Explorer app and an internet connection. The Autel Explorer app verifies this information by seeing when that specific unit communicated with our AWS (Amazon Web Services) servers in Texas, USA. Every time that an Evo II aircraft is connected to the Autel Explorer app and an internet connection, the OTA firmware server in Texas is pinged to see if that aircraft is up to date. This firmware and app release does not allow Autel Robotics to collect any location data from any drone or user.
This activation protocol was put in place in tandem with launching our new Autel Robotics Care program. Activating your aircraft allows Autel Robotics to see if that aircraft is eligible for our Autel Robotics Care program by evaluating whether a unit is within their 48 hour Autel Robotics Care window. This is why it is a compulsory process upon firmware update. If Autel Robotics Care is not something of interest to you, all you must do is go through the Activation prompt in the Autel Explorer app and continue flying as per usual.
Autel Robotics is committed to respecting and protecting our customer’s right to data privacy, which is why absolutely no personal and/or aircraft location information is shared with our company upon activation of your aircraft. While we understand that some users may be initially confused or concerned by this process, we feel that the majority of customers will benefit from their ability to join the Autel Robotics Care program. If there are any pending questions, comments, or concerns please contact Autel Robotics via our Customer Service channels.
 

Quad808

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This is good and confirmed that you can activate a craft without logging into the explorer app with your account info.
 

DroneBoy

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Any insider information as to why they requiring activation of aircraft now? This is the very reason I didn't go with DJI; leave me alone. Surely there was another reason than Autel Care. Are we sure that's all that happens, and no flight tracking or other nonsense?
 

Quad808

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Drone-Hacks is taking a look at it, but from a preliminary look, it looks to be harmless. If you don't want any flight logs sent to Autel, don't sign into the app, and/or don't sync them. That is a big difference between Autel and DJI. DJI REQUIRES you to sign into their app, or you can't fly. I firewall all DJI flying apps.
 

bobmarkovicsjr

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Drone-Hacks is taking a look at it, but from a preliminary look, it looks to be harmless. If you don't want any flight logs sent to Autel, don't sign into the app, and/or don't sync them. That is a big difference between Autel and DJI. DJI REQUIRES you to sign into their app, or you can't fly. I firewall all DJI flying apps.
That is exactly what I do, I have not synced my flights as it is my information and I will provide it, in grotesque detail with the maintenance logs to boot, if the FAA ask BUT not voluntarily, I have learned from the past to not volunteer info unless it is needed as someone might try to use it against you then you need to defend yourself. Trust me! Fly responsibly and learn to fly and you will never need it.
 

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