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).