Commercial drone exemption holder Cape Productions has partnered with select winter resorts across North America to bring drone video services to guests. Skiers and snowboarders can sign up, meet Cape on the mountain and get filmed by the autonomous drones while riding. Soon after completing their runs, customers receive a professionally edited and published video online to share.
Cape’s team includes Google alumni, Stanford engineers, and athletes – including a former U.S. Ski Team member and former pro snowboarder. The company says it maintains safe distances from the ground, all major obstacles and
The drones can fly up to 40 mph and thus stay ahead of the athletes, as well as withstand weather conditions and high altitudes. Cape says it has also worked with government and resort officials and the National Ski Areas Association to safely launch the drone service.
The Kodak moment lives. While I question the use of the word autonomous since this seems to be outside all known COAs, having a designated service provider is one way to deconflict drone airspace on the slopes. This is no small operation – in another article I learned that Cape Productions CEO and co-founder Jason Soll, who is backed by investors including the world’s largest venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. Initial estimates for a drone-video package run about $150.
That would include three runs with the drone hovering overhead and a 90-second to 2-minute highlight video, edited and e-mailed to customers. The drones fly on virtual guide wires that prevent them from hitting obstacles like trees or chairlifts while avoiding crowded areas.