Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.
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18 unmanned systems inside April/May 2017 SPECIAL REPORT INDUSTRY TRENDS industrial investment or institutional in- vestment into the drone software space," said Scott Lumish, vice president of busi- ness development at DroneDeploy. "I expect we will start to see other drone hardware vendors, maybe Intel- or Qualcomm-based, make a play for the market that DJI has the majority share in. Drones become mainstream when companies like Microsoft invest and big players like Intel and Qualcomm get more involved." Beyond the Drone Industry Drone companies aren't just looking within the industry for partnerships; SENSOR PAYLOADS As the industry continues to change, Jacek Pietruczanis, director of marketing for the GNSS and Imaging portfolio at Trimble, expects to see more advances in hardware and software. These advances include better images, enhanced video resolution and improved sensors. LiDAR, ultrasonic and spectral sensors will help with collision avoidance, 3-D imaging, infrared thermography and crop vigor analysis. They'll also open the door to more applications no one has imagined yet. And as applications become more sophisticated, users will need more sophisticated payloads, said Pankaj Lanjudkar, research analyst at Allied Analytics. To meet that need, manufacturers are starting to introduce advanced payload options that cater to customers' specific requirements, whether they're in agriculture, construction or one of the many industries turning to UAS to improve business operations. In fact, the UAS payload industry, according to Allied, is expected to garner $7.08 million by 2022. TECHNOLOGY TRENDS Trimble Navigation recently sold its UAV manufacturing entity Gatewing to Delair-Tech and is now focusing on software. they're also joining forces with leaders in the industries they serve. Kespry, for example, recently entered into an exclusive global strategic alliance with John Deere, Kespry Vice President of Marketing David Shearer said. John Deere Construction & Forestry dealers will provide the Kespry Aerial Intelligence System to their customers on job sites worldwide. John Deere chose Kespry based on its interoperability with John Deere WorkSight technologies. Through the agreement, Kespry will work with John Deere dealers to train and certify them on the Kespry 2's platform. Many of John Deere's construction in- dustry customers have an interest in im- plementing UAS for the business benefits they provide, but don't want to spend time learning how to be drone pilots, Shearer said. Like many professionals looking to add UAS to their workflow, they need a seamless end-to-end solution. "John Deere recognized the value but didn't really want to get into the hard- ware development business of drones. They decided the best way forward was to find a drone company to build an alli- ance with," Shearer said. "The construc- tion industry wants tools that can help them be more effective and productive, without having to spend time and energy learning a technology that takes them away from doing their job." These types of alliances ultimately benefit the end user. Drone manufac- turers can't be experts in everything, so working with industry leaders in the markets they serve gives them more credibility, while also enabling them to offer a better solution. "It doesn't matter if you're a billion dollar company or a brand new com- pany, you can't cover the entire space," WE'RE SEEING INCREASED PRESSURE ON SOME OF THE SMALLER, LESS FINANCED COMPANIES SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH COMPETITION. YOU HAVE SOME LARGER, WELL FINANCED PLAYERS COMING INTO THE MARKET, LIKE INTEL, MAKING ACQUISITIONS. THAT'S SHIFTING THE DYNAMICS OF THE MARKET. WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS THE BEGINNING OF CONSOLIDATION." Philip Finnegan, director of corporate analysis, Teal Group " Photo courtesy of Trimble