The Skydio R1 aerial "self-flying camera" received its first major software update today, gaining four new cinematic modes: Quarter Lead, Quarter Follow, Car Follow, and Car Tripod. Skydio underscores the new Car Follow mode as the biggest new feature, one that enables the drone to follow vehicles autonomously while capturing footage.

Talking about the software update is Skydio CEO Adam Bry, who said, "With Skydio R1, cinematography becomes a software defined experience. That means we can regularly introduce fundamentally new capabilities over time for all existing and future users."

The R1 is billed as an advanced autonomous device thanks in part to the NVIDIA Jetson AI supercomputer powering the device. According to Skydio, the Car Follow feature is made possible via neural networks trained using automobile image datasets.

In addition to the new operation modes, R1's software update optimizes the Skydio Autonomy Engine prediction system to enable more intelligent obstacle handling. The drone's companion mobile app has received UI improvements that simplify accessing the new cinematic modes, and the update also improves the landing experience by showing operators exactly where the drone will land.

The Skydio R1 is available through Skydio's website for $2,499 USD.