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Drone Industry Rumors about Consumer Market and Government Ban

Achernar

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I'm a recent new owner of an Autel Evo Lite + drone and I'm very happy with my purchase. My concerns, however, don't lie with the hardware but instead with business and political decisions on the horizon. The two big ones are.
- Comments that Autel Robotics is leaving the consumer drone market.
- US government may ban ALL use of Autel drones nationwide (not just government agencies) with Bill H.R. 6572. https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/hr6572/BILLS-117hr6572ih.pdf

Just trying to figure out how much truth is behind these two topics. I guess Autel leaving the consumer drone market would be disappointing, but not a showstopper for using the drone as long as parts, batteries, and the app is still working. A nationwide ban grounding all Autel Robotics drones would really suck though...

What is everyone's thoughts on this and does anyone have accurate inside information?

Also, comments about Autel's customer service and dropping the X-Drone are out of scope for this discussion. Those two topics are very well covered in other posts on AutelPilots.

Thank you.
 
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Comments that Autel Robotics is leaving the consumer drone market.
Just like Skydio, 3DR, and everyone else. Competing with DJI in the consumer and prosumer market is impossible. Because DJI is a PRC owned company with virtually unlimited funding options, they can and do simply price any competition out of the market. This has been the downfall of every consumer drone other than DJI. This is what it is, the end.
US government may ban ALL use of Autel drones nationwide (not just government agencies) with Bill H.R. 6572. https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/hr6572/BILLS-117hr6572ih.pdf
Did you read this? That is for DJI and over a year old. It isn't a public ban. That law prohibits federal funding from being spent on them. Nonetheless, there is no majority support for a total ban on all sales of DJI or any other drone in the United States. Nobody is discussing or proposing it in any serious way. That is not going to happen. No need to worry about that.
as long as parts, batteries, and the app is still working.
Thusfar Autel has been good about parts and app store availability. Like any company, they could call it quits on any aspect at any time when it becomes financially unreasonable to continue it. I don't see parts and support for the Evo 2 v1, v2, v3 and lite going anywhere anytime soon due to the user base and backwards compatibility. It's more likely your drone crashes or you upgrade to something newer and better long before support ends.
 
Just like Skydio, 3DR, and everyone else. Competing with DJI in the consumer and prosumer market is impossible. Because DJI is a PRC owned company with virtually unlimited funding options, they can and do simply price any competition out of the market. This has been the downfall of every consumer drone other than DJI. This is what it is, the end.

Did you read this? That is for DJI and over a year old. It isn't a public ban. That law prohibits federal funding from being spent on them. Nonetheless, there is no majority support for a total ban on all sales of DJI or any other drone in the United States. Nobody is discussing or proposing it in any serious way. That is not going to happen. No need to worry about that.

Thusfar Autel has been good about parts and app store availability. Like any company, they could call it quits on any aspect at any time when it becomes financially unreasonable to continue it. I don't see parts and support for the Evo 2 v1, v2, v3 and lite going anywhere anytime soon due to the user base and backwards compatibility. It's more likely your drone crashes or you upgrade to something newer and better long before support ends.
I did read the Bill H.R. 6572 and to clarify I'm not saying DJI is banned nationwide... however, it is in the realm of possibility. IMO a few reasons this could happen is because of their dominance in the drone industry (US doesn't like monopolies) and the optics of DJI being a security risk. Hypothetically speaking, if PRC invades an island off its coast all DJI drones in the US would most likely be grounding. My concern is if Autel drones will be affected.
I had a chuckle at your bill being a year-old comment... because the government is always known for moving fast. lol. The fact that the bill exists and DJI is already banned for government agencies gives the prospect of a complete grounding a bit more weight.

Does anyone know if Autel is still making new Evo Light, Nano, and Pro v3's or are they just dumping their existing inventory?

One of the indicators I'm looking at is current availability of their drones. As of 10/25/2023, they have EVO Lite+ standard bundle in all colors and Premium Bundle in orange and white available. Grey is the only one out of stock. Nano has Orange, Grey, and White available in the standard bundle and grey or white with the Premium bundle. If any out-of-stock items become available again, then it sounds like they're still being produced. Unlike Skydio who's consumer drone was out of stock for the longest time before they announced they were pulling out of the consumer drone market.

Interesting to see how this all plays out.
 
I did read the Bill H.R. 6572 and to clarify I'm not saying DJI is banned nationwide... however, it is in the realm of possibility. IMO a few reasons this could happen is because of their dominance in the drone industry (US doesn't like monopolies) and the optics of DJI being a security risk. Hypothetically speaking, if PRC invades an island off its coast all DJI drones in the US would most likely be grounding. My concern is if Autel drones will be affected.
I had a chuckle at your bill being a year-old comment... because the government is always known for moving fast. lol. The fact that the bill exists and DJI is already banned for government agencies gives the prospect of a complete grounding a bit more weight.
That's not how this works. The bill is over a year old. It does not exist anymore. The bill died at the end of 2022 without ever being brought to committee or voted on. A new version was introduced separately this year. There is once again no congressional interesting in moving this bill forward. No action has been taken and none is expected to be taken. To be clear once again, this bill would not ground every DJI drone. It would prohibit federal funds from being spent on DJI products. Period, end. It has nothing to do with consumer use or sales.

It would change virtually nothing even if it passed. Federal government agencies are already prohibited from purchasing and using DJI drones due to various other acts already in place. And most agencies already have their own internal policies prohibiting them long before.

Again, there is no congressional interest in wholesale prohibiting the purchase or operation of any brand or country of origin for public/consumer customers. There isn't even a means by which the government could easily implement that if they wanted to. This is not the soviet union where the overlords can just tell 300 million people to stop doing something on whim. It does not work like that.

Autel support and parts is much more valid concern. Not much precedent since all of their stuff is very current and well supported. But like any private company, they could say hell with this and give up tomorrow if they want.
 
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The optics of two years in a row where DJI was specifically mentioned isn't great... and I agree it's a far cry from grounding the entire fleet of DJI drones in the US... It was enough to sway my purchase decision towards Autel instead of DJI though. As mentioned before, I'm really happy with the EVO Lite+ and may end up getting a Nano or EVO 2 Pro v3 in the near future.
Enough about DJI though... that can be discussed in another forum.

As far as Autel Robotics... From what I can see, there's still plenty of drones in stock so I'm guessing they are still being produced.
Here's the latest in stock update from Autel Robotics Official website.
Autel Robotics Official Store | Official Store for Autel Drones

10/26/2023
EVO Lite+
Standard Bundle (No Change)
Orange - In Stock
Grey - In Stock
White - In Stock

Premium Bundle (No Change)
Orange - In Stock
Grey - Out of Stock
White - In Stock

EVO Nano+
Standard Bundle (No Change)
Orange - In Stock
Grey - In Stock
White - In Stock
Red - Out of Stock

Premium Bundle (No Change)
Orange - Out of Stock
Grey - In Stock
White - In Stock
Red - Out of Stock.
 
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Years ago I caught wind of what DJI was doing. Perhaps DJI actually did and/or does "spy" with their drones. I can't think of a better modern day trojan horse concept. The main reason, IMHO, that DJI in particular caught the attention of the military, and then the Feds, is because of the way they wouldn't take off when in certain areas. This implied China knew where every one of their drones were and China was using them for surveillance. Perhaps they are! But it was enough for the military to ban them outright. By extension, and because Autel started as a Chinese company with Chinese components, they ae "soft banned", meaning ALL drones with Chinese parts or headquarters in China are suspect as having some kind of spy capabilities. The federal organization I am part of will not buy any Chinese drone for missions. They must be certified as of US origin in parts and ownership.
 
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I'm a recent new owner of an Autel Evo Lite + drone and I'm very happy with my purchase. My concerns, however, don't lie with the hardware but instead with business and political decisions on the horizon. The two big ones are.
- Comments that Autel Robotics is leaving the consumer drone market.
- US government may ban ALL use of Autel drones nationwide (not just government agencies) with Bill H.R. 6572. https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/hr6572/BILLS-117hr6572ih.pdf

Just trying to figure out how much truth is behind these two topics. I guess Autel leaving the consumer drone market would be disappointing, but not a showstopper for using the drone as long as parts, batteries, and the app is still working. A nationwide ban grounding all Autel Robotics drones would really suck though...

What is everyone's thoughts on this and does anyone have accurate inside information?

Also, comments about Autel's customer service and dropping the X-Drone are out of scope for this discussion. Those two topics are very well covered in other posts on AutelPilots.

Thank you.
State agencies have been the only ones to require no Chinese drones - mostly DJI as those are what most LE and other agencies fly these days.

The federal ban also only pertains to agencies. All Congressional action has been squashed for an over all ban on Chinese Drones. Groups like DSPA and others have been pushing to stop such BS legislation.

What is crazy is the company pushing anti-Chinese drones - SkyDio has also dropped the prosumer lines and focusing on enterprise as well as Autel.

Autel has made that choice and so those who own the Nano / Lite series are not going to get much future support. Even the last update in Sep '23 SUCKED royally and many have had issues with it (me included). Yet a good month later - zip, zero, zilch from Autel about fixing it. Any past promises for waypoints, SC, and more for these 2 lines are DOA.

My Lite+ crashed after the update, but flew like a pro before (well over 6+ months) and Autel blames it all on me. They have not sent my drone back to me yet, even after 6+ weeks of having it. They "DID" offer me a unboxed premium bundle and I bought it - but not seen it either in the 2 weeks since I paid for it.

So, with Autel USA - this is what you can expect going forward. Fly the drones till the die and move on. Won't be many choices out there.
 
State agencies have been the only ones to require no Chinese drones - mostly DJI as those are what most LE and other agencies fly these days.

The federal ban also only pertains to agencies. All Congressional action has been squashed for an over all ban on Chinese Drones. Groups like DSPA and others have been pushing to stop such BS legislation.

What is crazy is the company pushing anti-Chinese drones - SkyDio has also dropped the prosumer lines and focusing on enterprise as well as Autel.

Autel has made that choice and so those who own the Nano / Lite series are not going to get much future support. Even the last update in Sep '23 SUCKED royally and many have had issues with it (me included). Yet a good month later - zip, zero, zilch from Autel about fixing it. Any past promises for waypoints, SC, and more for these 2 lines are DOA.

My Lite+ crashed after the update, but flew like a pro before (well over 6+ months) and Autel blames it all on me. They have not sent my drone back to me yet, even after 6+ weeks of having it. They "DID" offer me a unboxed premium bundle and I bought it - but not seen it either in the 2 weeks since I paid for it.

So, with Autel USA - this is what you can expect going forward. Fly the drones till the die and move on. Won't be many choices out there.
Wow. Autel is treating you like dirt. I saw this coming after I bought two Evo 1;s. They flew and still do fly fine, and I never "upgraded" them with software. But Autel cut off all support for them and because of that I vowed to never again buy Autel, and I have kept that promise.
But perhaps you should consider legal action!
 
Wow. Autel is treating you like dirt. I saw this coming after I bought two Evo 1;s. They flew and still do fly fine, and I never "upgraded" them with software. But Autel cut off all support for them and because of that I vowed to never again buy Autel, and I have kept that promise.
But perhaps you should consider legal action!
After filing with the WA State AG Office, the BBB, and writing a letter to some unnamed CEO - last one left after like 2 months on the job several months ago - Autel finally accepted some responsibility and probably didn't like me filing as I did - they offered me a "special deal" on a returned / open box premium bundle package. I've bought it, but will sell it and the crashed drone premium package I do have once I get the drones back. Still waiting and zero from Autel on shipping either one to me. That's my big issue with Autel is their lack of communication. I did call Autel USA on their 1-844 number. Took 3-4 tries till I finally got a female CS agent on the phone. All she could tell me was what little bit the Repair Facility had posted - that was it. Otherwise been emailing and I wait a good week before they respond to emails - I'm guessing from China. They don't really answer the question(s) I ask, so it's a back and forth over 2+ months dealing with them.

I "was" a big supporter of Autel, as the Lite+ is one fantastic drone. Yet, they dropped the ball on CS months ago when a great employee named Ken Booth left for a 2nd time. He could not take being not supported by his and upper management when he was trying to bring CS back to life there. Was sad to see Ken leave and CS has gone down hill like many times in the past. At some points, think they had close to no CS employees as they all walked out - that's per the BBB website and the many complaints against Autel USA. I'm not making this up - you can go look for yourself and the fiasco called Autel CS.

A lawsuit would cost me more and probably not benefit me much. Again, I'll take the 2 bundles and sell them to try and get some of my money back. I've already moved on and bought a DJI Mavic 3 Pro and won't look back to any Autel drone in the future.

Good luck with your EVO's.
 
After filing with the WA State AG Office, the BBB, and writing a letter to some unnamed CEO - last one left after like 2 months on the job several months ago - Autel finally accepted some responsibility and probably didn't like me filing as I did - they offered me a "special deal" on a returned / open box premium bundle package. I've bought it, but will sell it and the crashed drone premium package I do have once I get the drones back. Still waiting and zero from Autel on shipping either one to me. That's my big issue with Autel is their lack of communication. I did call Autel USA on their 1-844 number. Took 3-4 tries till I finally got a female CS agent on the phone. All she could tell me was what little bit the Repair Facility had posted - that was it. Otherwise been emailing and I wait a good week before they respond to emails - I'm guessing from China. They don't really answer the question(s) I ask, so it's a back and forth over 2+ months dealing with them.

I "was" a big supporter of Autel, as the Lite+ is one fantastic drone. Yet, they dropped the ball on CS months ago when a great employee named Ken Booth left for a 2nd time. He could not take being not supported by his and upper management when he was trying to bring CS back to life there. Was sad to see Ken leave and CS has gone down hill like many times in the past. At some points, think they had close to no CS employees as they all walked out - that's per the BBB website and the many complaints against Autel USA. I'm not making this up - you can go look for yourself and the fiasco called Autel CS.

A lawsuit would cost me more and probably not benefit me much. Again, I'll take the 2 bundles and sell them to try and get some of my money back. I've already moved on and bought a DJI Mavic 3 Pro and won't look back to any Autel drone in the future.

Good luck with your EVO's.
Sad story, but I believe it all. Didn't know that their employees walked out en masse. But those are huge warning signs about a company. But I still think a lawsuit could be taken on if you can find a lawyer who would do it on a retainer. I once had to sue a company. They didn't even show up in court to defend themselves. It was small claims court and didn't cost me a thing. I got a judgment and then had to collect. I went to their bank in person and used the court order to get my money. The hubris of some of these big company execs is mind boggling. They are behind a wall between real customers and themselves, until it all comes falling down and the investors wonder why.
 
Sad story, but I believe it all. Didn't know that their employees walked out en masse. But those are huge warning signs about a company. But I still think a lawsuit could be taken on if you can find a lawyer who would do it on a retainer. I once had to sue a company. They didn't even show up in court to defend themselves. It was small claims court and didn't cost me a thing. I got a judgment and then had to collect. I went to their bank in person and used the court order to get my money. The hubris of some of these big company execs is mind boggling. They are behind a wall between real customers and themselves, until it all comes falling down and the investors wonder why.
Good for you - but in my state it costs to file a small claims suit. Did not see it worth my time and effort over $800 and they know that too, so they string you along till your tire of their BS. I hit all the right buttons with AG, BBB, etc, - so they did jump thru some hoops to "appease" me.

If you Google Search CEO Warnas Autel CEO - when he left he blatantly stated his reason for leaving the company - due to a poor management structure more resembling a federal government agency where many work super slow at their jobs or not at all. Then throw up the wall you can't touch me. Then the Chinese Owner / CEO showed his @$$ with a reply that was beyond insane.

I don't get it, but did work for some Silicon Valley Tech Companies during the dot.com debacle and their insanity was off the charts in the top levels. Grandiose plans and some very stupid moves sent them to the basement and bought out by other better run tech companies. They simply thought they were the best and untouchable, but quickly learned smaller companies were far hungrier to beat them out and they did. Went from like a 75% market share and 2 years or so - down to about 25% market share. I got out before it all fell apart - by my stock options / etc were worthless.
 
Sad story, but I believe it all. Didn't know that their employees walked out en masse. But those are huge warning signs about a company. But I still think a lawsuit could be taken on if you can find a lawyer who would do it on a retainer. I once had to sue a company. They didn't even show up in court to defend themselves. It was small claims court and didn't cost me a thing. I got a judgment and then had to collect. I went to their bank in person and used the court order to get my money. The hubris of some of these big company execs is mind boggling. They are behind a wall between real customers and themselves, until it all comes falling down and the investors wonder why.
 
Inventory for 11/2/2023

EVO Lite+
Standard Bundle (No Change)
Orange - In Stock
Grey - In Stock
White - In Stock

Premium Bundle (No Change)
Orange - In Stock
Grey - Out of Stock
White - In Stock

EVO Nano+
Standard Bundle (white)
Orange - In Stock
Grey - In Stock
White - Out of Stock
Red - Out of Stock

Premium Bundle (white)
Orange - In stock
Grey - In Stock
White - Out of stock
Red - Out of Stock.
 
Helps to READ the article!

"The top members of a U.S. House committee on China are introducing a bill that seeks to ban the U.S. government from buying Chinese drones."

Got nothing to do with 107 and rec flyers.
Never said it affected consumers…. it’s still focused on a nation wide govt. ban.
 
Never said it affected consumers…. it’s still focused on a nation wide govt. ban.
What is you motive for posting misinformation? Not to mention you just joined the forum and all this inventory crap.

Fess up - who are you?
 
Looks like there’s some traction on the bill to ban Chinese drones for government use.
Nope. There is no traction on "the" bill to do that. This is a panel writing yet another new bill. It doesn't even exist yet. There is no more or less interest in it than there was last year or the year before. This bill, like the others, would prohibit federal funds from being used on some yet to be defined scope of chinese made products. Since there is no bill yet, there is no scope and there is no traction.

I'm not necessarily opposed to this either. Just stating facts.
 
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Here's a YouTube video from Pilot Institute...
It's a good summary of the proposed bill.

 
What is you motive for posting misinformation? Not to mention you just joined the forum and all this inventory crap.

Fess up - who are you?
lol... you sound a bit paranoid...

I'm a recreational flyer who recently purchased an Autel EVO Lite+ and is keeping a close eye on issues that may affect my purchase investment. As mentioned in the initial post... worried about my drone being grounded in the US Federal Govt. and Autel parts/support in the coming years... since indications are Autel is stepping back from the consumer market.

Your turn to fess up - Who are you?
 

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