DJI Air 2s Active Track Tutorial

What is Active Track Mode?

Active Track is one of the three intelligent flight modes of the DJI Air 2S, grouped under the name of Focus Track

Active Track and Spotlight are the two main tools of the DJI Air 2S for following moving elements, like people, cars, bicycles, boats, and so on. Only Active Track can follow a target autonomously, in other words, it can be used without the use of the remote controller. It is the one to use when driving, cycling, or walking

Top-down tracking

For more details about Spotlight mode please relate to my specific article

Active Track Settings in the DJI Air 2S

The interface of Focus Track is much simpler to use and faster to operate compared to previous models of the Mavic line

After selecting the desired target, three icons appear to access the three modes, Active Track, Spotlight, and Point of Interest. When selecting Active Track, there is a choice between Trace and Parallel. The three intelligent flight modes of Focus Track are available in resolutions up to 4k and a frame rate of 30 fps

Selecting a target for Active Track

Using this method it is hard to select subjects in motion. A better way is to enable Subject Scanning in the Control tab of Settings. The drone will recognize persons, cars, bicycles, and boats and put a plus sign around them. Just tap on the sign to select them as a target

Subject Scanning

Obstacle detection with the Air 2S

The ability to detect and avoid obstacles is crucial when using Active Track

Air 2S obstacle sensors in action

The Air 2S has an improved APAS 4.0 system for obstacle detection and avoidance. The Air 2S is not equipped with omnidirectional obstacle detection, as it lacks side sensors. But compared to the Mavic Air, the Air 2S has a pair of upward sensors pointing slightly to the side than can help with lateral obstacles

Front and top sensors in the DJI Air 2S

A lot of care is needed when tracking sport or action from a close distance with the Air 2S, especially when moving sideways or circling

Luckily the Focus Track modes are compatible with the excellent zoom capabilities of the Air 2S, therefore it is possible to fly higher than the surrounding obstacles and remain relatively close to the action. Just remember that the zoom tools are available only in Normal mode, but not in DLOG or HLG

Zooming in while in Active Track

When an obstacle is between the aircraft and the target, the algorithm tries to anticipate the direction of the target and on many occasions, it manages to find it once the obstacle has disappeared from the frame

More info about the APAS system for obstacle detection in my specific article

Tracking moving targets with the DJI Air 2S

All three Focus Track modes can follow moving targets, but the most suitable for tracking are Active track and Spotlight. There are some slight differences in the way they work

Spotlight mode with a static Point of VIew

When using Spotlight the drone will hover in a static position, while keeping the target in the middle of the frame. By using the two sticks of the remote control we can get closer and further away from the target, we can move in all directions with the target still locked in the center of the frame

Spotlight mode with moving Point of View

With Active track, in Trace mode, the Air 2S will maintain a constant distance from the target, but it can move upwards, downwards, or sideways. When facing an advancing target, the aircraft will move backward. In Parallel mode, the aircraft will track the target from a side, although not exactly at 90 degrees, to help with obstacle detection

Active Track with the Air 2S in Trace and Parallel mode

Does DJI Air 2S Have Follow Me?

Follow me was the first iteration of tracking with DJI drones and was introduced with the Phantom 3 series. It was based solely on GPS technology. The limitations of this technique were that the target needed to carry the controller and obstacle detection was not possible

With the Phantom 4 DJI introduced Active Track, which is based on both GPS technology and vision recognition

The term Follow Me is now mostly used for autonomous tracking when the drone operator is following himself and the use of the remote control is not necessary

Action track is the only mode in the DJI Air 2S able to perform “Follow Me”, in other words, track a target autonomously. It can be used without operating the remote controller when driving, cycling, or walking. The mode Spotlight has plenty of options for maneuvering the drone while tracking, but the use of the remote control is needed

Examples of follow me with Activ Track on the Air 2s

Which DJI drones have Active Track?

Active Track is a very popular feature and it is available on all the models of the current DJI line, with the exception of the Mini 2 and Mini 3. These models are not supplied with sensors for obstacle detection which are crucial for the implementation of Active Track, although some sort of tracking is available through third-party apps

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I am Vittorio Caramazza, aka Vicvideopic, the founder of this website and author of all the posts. I am a videographer and photographer contributing to several stock agencies. I am an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Lightroom. I have 10 years of experience with dron videography and photography. I was struck by drone syndrome in 2013. I have owned and tested in depth the following drones: Phantom 3, Phantom 4, Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic Mini, Mini 2, Air 2, Air 2s, Autel Evo Nano Plus, Mavic 3, Mini 3 Pro, Mini 3. My home has turned into a breeding ground for drones. I am the owner of two YouTube channels specializing in Videography and Photography, with a focus on drones My main channel is VicVideopic (in English): My other channel is Drone Mitico, the Italian version.: I am currently based in Sicily (Southern Italy), but I tend to move quite often. After all, this is one of the main benefits of being a digital nomad…

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