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The drone landscape keeps growing

The 2019 drone market landscape map shows a continuous expansion. Image credit: Drone Industry Insights

The 2019 drone market map is out and it shows a strong growth in many sectors.  It may be interesting to compare the 2018 map with the new one.

We have a new category, drone-in-a-box, pointing at the growing interest for fully autonomous drones (taking off from a box and returning to that box with no human control and intervention). Airobotics is one of the companies listed in the map. Notice that Airobotics provide a fully automated solution in the air and on the ground, meaning that once the robot is back to the “box” it gets automatically recharged without the need for human intervention.

The pervasiveness of drones and the (few but too many) instances in which they have caused troubles is becoming an issue and there are a few companies working to provide a solution to track and regulate flights (LAANC- Low Altitude Authorisation and Notification Capability). Thales has announced few days ago its LAANC EcoSystem to support both recreational and professional drones operation. It is not alone and the 2019 map lists 13 companies providing LAANC services (notice that Thales is not listed in the map, probably because their system has been announced just few days ago and it will be released in September this year)..

In case you don’t trust people to register their drone, submit a flight plan and wait for the authorisation there are plenty of companies selling Counter Drone Solutions and their number has increased in this last year. They provide automatic drone detection and use an electromagnetic cannon to jam the drone flying system (and its guidance system). That is a further proof, if any was needed, that once you have a technology you open the market for that technology and for companies that provide means to stop it (or take care of the downsides of that technology). In this case there is clearly a demand for people who want to preserve their privacy. High walls and tree fences are useless once you have drones flying over them.

Also interesting is the huge proliferation of companies offering Drone-as-a-Service (more than double the number of companies listed in 2018 -62 vs 138).

Whilst computer vision has been from the beginning an integral part of drones and we see companies listed in the 2018 map in association to navigation, in the 2019 map we are also seeing Computer Vision -CV- associated to Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, showing a growing interest to exploit CV in the delivery of services (you may be interested in this peculiar idea of using a drone as a receptionist, leveraging on CV).

There are clearly many more aspects revealed by the map, listing some 1,000 companies in the drone space (DroneII claims that this year the map is also better because they have asked companies to reserve, and pay, for a space on the map; I am not sure this is really a plus. I was happy with the previous years maps where companies were selected by the DroneII team).

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.