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Legal Demand of Autel Robotics Re: EVO II Enterprise Dual 640T (v3)

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LoneStarISR

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NOTE: If this problem cannot be solved, I will pursue a Qui Tam petition in the United States Federal Court, Southern District of Texas, citing the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733, and Texas Title 2, Chapter 17, and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Jurisdiction will be based on Diversity of location and Subject Matter since this involves the False Claims Act. If I seek remedy in court, I pursue a class status. That said, Autel should consider how many Autel EVO drones have been sold to Texas Parks and Wildlife alone and thus will involve the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Also, note that Cody McCormick and Drone Nerds have performed as expected and that no conflict exists between myself, my company and Mr. McCormick or Drone Nerds.

This post is a request from myself to Autel Robotics to deliver the product which I purchased and supply to my company, the Enterprise Level Documentation of its product, Autel EVO II, Dual 640T, version 3, (The Drone or Drone), and cease all false advertising. I have already requested assistance via emails and telephone calls directly with Autel Robotics and via the distributor where I purchased the product.

My name is Tom Olson. I am the owner and chief pilot for Lone Star ISR. This is a new company working in the public safety and biology management space.

I chose Autel Robotics product based on: 1. Its advertisements (website); 2. Its retailers that the Drone purchased is an enterprise grade product; 3. That it installed the American made Teledyne FLIR Boson Core; 4. The features of its live deck product; 5. That it was not a geofenced product; and 5. The Drone’s price.

Autel has marketed its products to commercial and governmental consumers using false representations and without supplying the documentation necessary to operate this product.

What are Autel Robotics’ False Representations.
  • The Drone was built in Washington and equipped with a FLIR Boson Core camera installed.
  • The Drone can works in ranges of “15 km”, “9+ Miles”, and “9.3miles (15km) Maximum Transmission Range”.
  • The Drone was an Enterprise grade product.
  • The Drone has a 42-minute flight time.
Where are the False Representations Regarding the Camera Found?
See the following URLs:
Autel also propagated the false advertising down to its distributors, see the following URL:
boson 1 - Copy.jpg boson 1.jpg boson 2.jpg boson 3.jpg boson 4.jpgboson 5 - drone nerds.jpg boson 6.jpg

What Camera is Installed if not a Teledyne FLIR Boson Core?
On February 1, 2023, I emailed my sales representative, Cody McCormick, at Drone Nerds after seeing this video on YouTube:
while I was desperately trying to find documentation on the operations of the thermal camera. On the following day, Cody replied back to me, “Tom, Confirmed yours is not a FLIR thermal core.”. After deep digging, I have learned this is probably a thermal core manufactured by iRay, and IS NOT AN AMERICAN-BUILT THERMAL CAMERA, but actually made in China. See the following URL:
Where is the False Advertising Regarding the Distance?
The false statements about distance are found at the URL below where it states the drone is capable of operating at distances of “15 km”, “9+ Miles”, and “9.3miles”.
Simultaneously, stated in the Frequently Asked Questions, with the heading “Home / FAQs / Enterprise Products / EVO II Dual 640T”, under the subsection titled “Remote Controller”, it reads: “Under the FCC standard, the maximum image transmission distance is 9km; under the CE standard, the maximum image transmission distance is 5 km.”. This conflicting statement is located at the following URL:
Distance 1.jpg distance 2.jpg distance 3.jpg

What does it mean to be an Enterprise Product?
“Enterprise-grade” describes products that integrate into an infrastructure with a minimum of complexity and offer transparent proxy support – See Gartner. An Enterprise product provides: 1. Integration with other applications; 2. Lifetime Control; 3. Support the integration and use of enterprise-grade products at all stages of implementation and use; 4. Productivity tools like file-sharing or cloud connectivity; 5. Scalability to handle growth; 6. Deployability in multiple use cases;

The Drone purchased does not integrate with any other enterprise applications. The Autel Explorer sold to me is a closed software system without an application program interface (API), with a closed android operating system, unable to import KML files located in the cloud and unable to install 3rd-party software applications into the Smart Controller operating system. Professionally, as a Enterprise Software Architect, I have created a Developer Account at 道通开发者平台 and have been unable to create an application or even download the SDK.

Where is the False Advertising Regarding the Flight Time?
At the following URL, it reads: “42 Minutes of Flight Time Large propellers and revised flight algorithms provide the longest flight time in its category.” At no time has this Drone been able to hover for more than 36 minutes in zero winds at an altitude of 10’ AGL (65’ MSL) at a temperature of 68 degrees.
Documentation Deficiencies
All of the problems above were discovered while trying to obtain documentation on the thermal camera’s operation. Autel has failed to produce any documentation on the operation of its installed camera technology or the mission planning software. On January 31, 2023, I asked Autel Support via email for the documentation on the technical operations of the product. Additionally, I asked my sales representative to gain access to the documentation on the thermal camera’s operations and inquired to precisely what thermal camera was installed with the Drone I purchased if not manufactured by Teledyne FLIR. At this time, I only know this is not a FLIR Boson Core installed in the unit I purchased after relying on the representations made by Autel that it is was manufactured by Teledyne FLIR.

I have signed up to access the Autel Training website; when I have logged in, there is no training materials available to view at the following URL:
The only operational documentation that is available is the 62-page EVO II Dual 640T V3 User Manual-EN that was published on November 10, 2022. Therein, this document CONTAINS NO REFERENCE TO THE THERMAL CAMERA’S OPERATION and on page 30 reads: “HDMI port: Outputs image transmission signals.”, whereas the remote control HDMI Port outputs a mirror signal of the Smart Controller. This documentation is found at this URL:
The documentation that Autel is missing is related to its Autel Explorer software in its remote-control camera settings. These values include:
  • Detail Enhancement
  • Image Mode
  • Noise Reduction (self-explanatory)
  • Gain Mode
  • Thermal Imaging Emissivity (how far is this effective?, how much drain does this place on the battery)
  • Temperature Warning?
  • High and Low Temp threshold settings??
  • Isotherm
  • High and Low or Human Search? What are those values??
  • Overexposure warnings?
  • DeFog? (What are we defogging? Data received or are we defogging the camera lens?)
  • ROI???
Legal Liability Upon ALL Commercial Consumers. Why this is important?
All of Autel Robotics commercial consumers should be demanding that Autel produce proper documentation due to the civil liability which they may be subject to in a court of law.

For example, if an engineering company uses thermography data derived from an Autel Robotics Drone, which you have flown, you may be called into court to testify to the capabilities of the Drone which you used to collect that data. A prosecuting attorney will ask you how you received your training and what documentation you have which you used to support your findings. What will your answer be? You may find the liability becomes shifted to you, the operator, if you did not follow the manufacture's published guidelines… or worse, you made up the guidelines because you did not have the documentation.

In an another scenario, if you worked on a Search and Rescue operation that became a criminal investigation, the defense attorney has the right to question your effectiveness in using Autel Robotics product. If the Search and Rescue effort becomes a kidnapping case, the chain of evidence matters.

These are the reasons this post is important.

The Purpose of this Post. What am I seeking?
Since I cannot directly or indirectly reach anyone at Autel, I am hoping that someone from Autel will see this post here. My desire is that I receive the product that I purchased and all associated documentation.

If this does not happen, I will return the Drone to the seller and buy another product. If that does not happen, I will seek remedy in court.

Tom Olson
281-236-2506
[email protected]
 
Hi Tom. I would recommend you returning the drone to the retailer if you have that option. It will be the easiest solution. Autel Robotics, based upon their history, is not going to provide remedy to most of your complaints. Their marketing is way out in front of what they actually are able to deliver, unfortunately. Best of luck.
 
Dave,

I honestly hope you are wrong. If this is how Autel intentionally conducts business then I might as well turn Autel over to the FTC and Texas Attorney General today for violating these laws and attempt to return it. Still, this is a legal demand and I have to put this out here publicly since they do not want to address these problems via telephone or email.

Let me add that I am disappointed in the community's elevation of Jon McDonald, a.k.a. "Drone Jesus", and how the leaders in this community put him up on a pedestal hanging on every word and claim he made and claims he would fix Autel's customer service.

Thank you, Dave, for being candid.

Tom Olson
 
Hi Tom.

I base my comments on what Autel has done to address problems in the last couple of years. Until there is proof that there is a fundimental change in operation and execution, we can only go by that track record.

Regarding Jon M., I think Jon is in an unenviable position. He is basically the current front man for ownership. And makes comments based upon what he is told is the roadmap. Unfortunately, when that roadmap isn't followed, Jon (and a few others) end up looking bad. How long Jon, and the others, will put up with taking it on the chin is a good question. As you may recall, Randal Warnas became CEO, got a good look behind the curtain, and immediately resigned and moved on.
 
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Hi Tom.

I base my comments on what Autel has done to address problems in the last couple of years. Until there is proof that there is a fundimental change in operation and execution, we can only go by that track record.

Regarding Jon M., I think Jon is in an unenviable position. He is basically the current front man for ownership. And makes comments based upon what he is told is the roadmap. Unfortunately, when that roadmap isn't followed, Jon (and a few others) end up looking bad. How long Jon, and the others, will put up with taking it on the chin is a good question. As you may recall, Randal Warnas became CEO, got a good look behind the curtain, and immediately resigned and moved on.
That's the problem with selling your reputation. When it comes down to it, all you have is your name at the end of the day. Right next to selling your soul, it's the second worst thing that you can do.
 
I chose Autel Robotics product based on: 1. Its advertisements (website); 2. Its retailers that the Drone purchased is an enterprise grade product; 3. That it installed the American made Teledyne FLIR Boson Core; 4. The features of its live deck product; 5. That it was not a geofenced product; and 5. The Drone’s price.
Tom,

While I too, am critical of Autel in some things, I have not seen where they say that the craft are made in Washington, or that the 640T thermal camera uses a Boson sensor.

"Enterprise", as related to this class of drones is somewhat ambiguous. Although I would agree that Autel does not even closely hold up to support available to DJI enterprise drones. Specifically, you cannot even get replacement coverage on "Enterprise" models.

Control signal range and video downlink are always overstated by all the manufactures it seems.

Like I said earlier. If you have the opportunity to return the drone to the dealer and move on, I think that would save you some stress. Life is too short.
 
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Tom,

While I too, am critical of Autel in some things, I have not seen where they say that the craft are made in Washington, or that the 640T thermal camera uses a Boson sensor.

"Enterprise", as related to this class of drones is somewhat ambiguous. Although I would agree that Autel does not even closely hold up to support available to DJI enterprise drones. Specifically, you cannot even get replacement coverage on "Enterprise" models.

Control signal range and video downlink are always overstated by all the manufactures it seems.

Like I said earlier. If you have the opportunity to return the drone to the dealer and move on, I think that would save you some stress. Life is too short.
Dave,

Here is where they say it is made in the USA:

Autel Robotics Press Release

Other distributors have propagated the same statements:

Here is where the FTC describes made in the USA.

I am going to send mine back. Let's see how easy it is to get my money.

Tom Olson
 
Dave,

Here is where they say it is made in the USA:

Autel Robotics Press Release

Other distributors have propagated the same statements:

Here is where the FTC describes made in the USA.

I am going to send mine back. Let's see how easy it is to get my money.

Tom Olson
You're making the sensible move, but I almost wish you had taken them to court.

I have this love / hate relationship with Autel Robotics: I love the drone (EVO2 Pro 6K [v1]), but I've grown to despise the company.
 
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I have found Autel Robotics to have very poor customer service and very poor documentation of their products. I think the US Attorney General should investigate their practices.
 
I bought the 640t Enterprise V2 when they first came out. It was an unfinished product and as you've pointed out, didn't do everything the marketing advertised. I was lucky enough that the shop I bought mine from accepted a return.

I like the drone. But it should cost less for the actual performance imo.
 
We have 14 E2 drones 10 PRO and 4 8K and have had zero issues with any of them. We also have the 2 RTK series enterprise and have been fine. They are not for everyone, but the only other option is DJI and our company had it up to our eyeballs with their practices...

Several local companies here as well as the local municipalities switched to Autel a few years ago as well.
Seems more people want just one brand to rule the earth which is stupid.
Same went for our gimbals, and other gear. DJI service was to the point we no longer trusted them at all. Switched to Weebill2 and Weebill3 gimbals which were the most compact yet robust enough to provide great footage (no jittery shakes or intermittent motor crap like the RS series did) for our caged A7III, A7S cameras. Payload was fine for the spec of the gimbal.

DJI and Android are still not friends at all... Doesn't matter the product, DJI craps all over Android community all the time. They really crapped on the gimbal aspect as well.

Many reasons Autel is around. The first EVO success was a direct result of the FU DJI gave to many people in the Android community after partnering with Apple thus having constant issues with their crappy app for Android, they instead wanted to force users into iOS which they continuously did. DJI suggested even the latest model Android devices (especially from Samsung Apple;s biggest competitor) were not on the "Approved List" of devices.
yeah.... hence people in our company here have flown Evo, Evo2 and Nano products with no issues, no complaints on many of the same "unapproved" mobile devices from DJI..
So for some, Autel can leave a sting especially after the state side and Chinese shut downs during Covid that also forced many employees to seek other career paths. Have to work somewhere to pay the bills!!
That CEO everyone talk about was ok, but my guess is he didn't want to answer much to the Chinese owners of the company. He had a lot of good PR ideas, but apparently there were quite a few in the know that said his ideas fell on deaf ears, he got aggravated instead of patiently pursuing those creative measures and stepped down. I don't know, and can only assume something like that was possible given the abruptness of this action following the Warnas promises made to the Autel user communities.. His undefined rant message was not CEO like or professional imo... but given the community were big fans of the hype he generated, it was a measured departure move on his part at least to say thanks and see you later somewhere...
 
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If this does not happen, I will return the Drone to the seller and buy another product. If that does not happen, I will seek remedy in court.
Clearly, you are not satisfied with the product. I would strongly suggest you return it to the retailer for a full refund during their refund period. It is very doubtful that anyone from Autel will see your post.

I will reach out to the administration of this forum to confirm this.
 
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We have 14 E2 drones 10 PRO and 4 8K and have had zero issues with any of them. We also have the 2 RTK series enterprise and have been fine. They are not for everyone, but the only other option is DJI and our company had it up to our eyeballs with their practices...

Several local companies here as well as the local municipalities switched to Autel a few years ago as well.
Seems more people want just one brand to rule the earth which is stupid.
Same went for our gimbals, and other gear. DJI service was to the point we no longer trusted them at all. Switched to Weebill2 and Weebill3 gimbals which were the most compact yet robust enough to provide great footage (no jittery shakes or intermittent motor crap like the RS series did) for our caged A7III, A7S cameras. Payload was fine for the spec of the gimbal.

DJI and Android are still not friends at all... Doesn't matter the product, DJI craps all over Android community all the time. They really crapped on the gimbal aspect as well.

Many reasons Autel is around. The first EVO success was a direct result of the FU DJI gave to many people in the Android community after partnering with Apple thus having constant issues with their crappy app for Android, they instead wanted to force users into iOS which they continuously did. DJI suggested even the latest model Android devices (especially from Samsung Apple;s biggest competitor) were not on the "Approved List" of devices.
yeah.... hence people in our company here have flown Evo, Evo2 and Nano products with no issues, no complaints on many of the same "unapproved" mobile devices from DJI..
So for some, Autel can leave a sting especially after the state side and Chinese shut downs during Covid that also forced many employees to seek other career paths. Have to work somewhere to pay the bills!!
That CEO everyone talk about was ok, but my guess is he didn't want to answer much to the Chinese owners of the company. He had a lot of good PR ideas, but apparently there were quite a few in the know that said his ideas fell on deaf ears, he got aggravated instead of patiently pursuing those creative measures and stepped down. I don't know, and can only assume something like that was possible given the abruptness of this action following the Warnas promises made to the Autel user communities.. His undefined rant message was not CEO like or professional imo... but given the community were big fans of the hype he generated, it was a measured departure move on his part at least to say thanks and see you later somewhere...
Zero issues eh? You get a 40 minute flight time? Nope.
 
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