All through last year, we saw very significant improvements in drone technologies, functionalities and regulatory framework for drones in different parts of the world. You know how these things work in the tech world-every year comes with improvements on what was invented the previous year. So, expect more technological improvements and twists as the years roll by. In this post, we will take a look at some important factors and trends that will affect the way drones are adopted and used for commercial purposes.
1. Larger Applications in the business world
The adoption of the aerial drones and their technology may not get to the level some experts have predicted. However, it is sure to grow in some specific industries like construction, agriculture, mining, insurance, public safety and first responders, oil and gas, utilities, telecommunications, and survey engineering.
In the last few years, many companies were seen moving away from the conventional use of drones to using drones to manage their data and workflow. In the near future, there will be reports of companies using drones for a whole lot more technical tasks far beyond using them to capture lines of sight operations that are beyond vision.
2. Steady growth
The more certified drone pilots we have the faster the growth of the drone industry. It is a common practice everywhere in the world that every drone operation should have one pilot. Last year alone saw the growth of FAA-certified pilots growing over 50%. Most of the pilots who contributed to that huge growth came from enterprises, public agencies, or companies with certified internal drone programs as opposed pilots who came from drone-based service providing outfits. What this means is that commercial drone companies are more interested in driving growth than driving individual interests.
3. More vendor consolidation
Most of the growth witnessed in the drone industry prior to this time came from the initial hype about the prospect of drones transforming industries and the way businesses are carried out around the world. These huge forecasts have fueled very huge investments in the drone industry, however, most of those predictions have failed with big names like GoPro and 3D Robotics literately falling out of the sky. This has opened the door for consolidations and drone vendors have kept seizing key leadership positions in major industries to secure new sources of revenue.
4. Software, sensors, and AI advancements
You can expect some great advancements in imaging software as different companies work hard to successfully combine thermal imaging, RGB, orthomosaic, and IoT sensors. There are very high chances that more mapping software and aerial imaging firms will most likely announce their new artificial intelligence capabilities.
There are a number of drone-based AI solutions already for machine vision/image recognition. We may also see some new capabilities like GIS data integration, tracking, documentation. All these prospects and capabilities are believed to hold the promise for CEOs and CFOs to pay more attention to drones and cause a wider enterprise adoption of drones. Hopefully, drones will one day live up to all the hype that have accompanied their entrance into the tech market over the years.
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