Fact-check: Can you pick up a 40 tonne truck with 2,000 drones?

World of Engineering, a Twitter account which shares content related to science, technology and engineering, tweeted a six-second video which shows drones lifting a truck on  November 17. The video was tweeted with the caption ‘Can you pick up a 40-tonne truck with 2,000 drones? Credit to @ScaniaGroup.‘ It has received over 15,000 re-tweets and over 69,000 likes.

Since then many people have uploaded or shared the same video on social media.

November 18: There were fresh instances of this video on Facebook

Leaving many puzzled about the capabilities of present-day drone technology.

 

From clickbait to newsfeed

Several people, including Giuliano Liguori, founder of GLWEB, an Italy-based Italy-based engineering company, were quick to point out that the video in question is made using CGI (computer-generated imagery).

Scania, a Sweden-based commercial vehicles manufacturer, has uploaded multiple videos which involve drones lifting trucks. One of them is uploaded on YouTube as ‘Scania truck lifted by drones’ where the use of CGI is obvious. As per PRNewswire, they signed an agreement with Bublar Group’s subsidiary Vobling for services related to CGI, augmented reality and virtual reality on September 27.

But the video in question seems is produced in a way so that it looks like it is shot on a smartphone which adds to the confusion. However, the fact that Scania staff appear to be standing just a few feet away from an 18,000-kilogram truck hanging in the air does raise suspicion because of the lack of safety standards for the employees.

In an attempt to authenticate the video in question, Alt News searched the phrase ‘Can you pick up a 40-tonne truck with 2,000 drones?’ on Facebook and found that the video in question was shared by the verified account of Scania Group on September 25.

Flying with drones

Can you pick up a 40 tonne truck with 2,000 drones?
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2lC0LnH

Posted by Scania Group on Wednesday, 25 September 2019

 

Interestingly, the same video was uploaded a month earlier than Scania Group’s post on a YouTube by an account named Trucks & Funs.

 

The Facebook post by Scania Group also used the same phrase ‘Can you pick up a 40-tonne truck with 2,000 drones?’ but if you click the ‘See more’ button one can see the following text ‘Learn more: http://bit.ly/2lC0LnH’

The link takes you to a webpage called Future Room, a platform where futuristic ideas and concepts are discussed on Scania’s global website. At the bottom of the page, there is a video ‘Scania truck lifted by drones’ followed by other videos which capture ‘discussions and engaging stories that imagine a better future through innovation.’ Therefore it is clear that ideas shown in the videos on this section of the website are futuristic and do not represent currently available technology.

A screenshot from Scanias Future Room webpage

However, the video in question is being shared on social media without the link by Scania which has resulted in many people believing that the video is real.

 

A 40-ton truck picked up with 2,000 drones😳

Credit to @ScaniaGroup

Posted by राजनीतिक Engineer on Sunday, 17 November 2019

The ten-second or six-second video made by Scania that shows a truck being lifted by multiple drones is a CGI video and is being shared without context.

There have been several instances in past when a CGI video was considered to be real. In February, Alt News reported CGI video by Russian inventor viral as Israeli drones supplied to India and digitally-created video viral as ‘robot’ used by US to take down IS chief Baghdadi.

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