Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 2017

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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22 unmanned systems inside April/May 2017 SPECIAL REPORT INDUSTRY TRENDS Measure has taken this a step fur- ther and plans to roll out a franchising initiative this year, Stepler said. The territory-based franchises will enable the company to provide services for cus- tomers with nationwide requirements. "The franchise model lends itself well to our industry," Stepler said. "Customers are concerned with safety and legality. Franchising is about standardization and doing things in a very specific way. When you talk to risk averse Fortune 500 exec- utives, they like this idea rather than the idea of a vendor using an independent lo- cal operator. They know this is part of a standardized system. Whoever shows up will have the same training, same stan- dards, same insurance and same data products as if it were a direct Measure flight team providing the service." Right now, Measure is focused on re- cruiting and launching qualified fran- chisees, Stepler said, and expects to in- troduce their first few later this year. While providing drone services certain- ly is becoming more popular, Niehenke said there are still some situations where it makes sense for companies to own and operate their own UAS. "If I'm in the construction industry, I might be working on a building in Southern California and need weekly images of the evolution of that building. I have a technology capable foreman so I do the work myself," he said. "But I'm building another building in Portland that's a little more predictable. I have a foreman who is a good construction guy but not good with technology. In that case, I'm going to send a service provider by once a month because I don't need that weekly data. So it really depends on the organization. There are use cases evolving in both directions." From Hobby to Commercial Today, China-based DJI dominates the consumer drone market, Finnegan said, and is leveraging that success to capture its share of the commercial market. DJI, and other hobby-focused companies, The md4-200 from microdrones. Photo courtesy of microdrones are developing more sophisticated, more expensive systems that can be used in a variety of commercial appli- cations. They realize that, at some point, the consumer market will be commod- itized. Prices will start to go down and growth will stagnate. "The commercial market is going to grow much more quickly than the consumer market and will be larger," he said. "They're investing some of the money they've gotten from the con- sumer market to take a share of the commercial market. That offers the potential to hedge their bets to get into a new growth area." The Future The commercial drone industry is in a strong growth phase, with new players continually entering the marketing, said Jean-Thomas Celette, senseFly's head of marketing and sales. But at the same time, there's a lot of restructuring with companies merging, partnering and even shutting their doors, a trend Celette and other industry insiders don't expect to change any time soon. "We will also continue to see partner- ships, M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activity and overall consolidation in the industry," Celette said. "It is likely that this consolidation will also help drive acceptance and overall market pen- etration of UAVs, as there will be fewer small players with unreliable, imprecise or unsafe products." The FA A's Part 107 regulations re- leased last year gave more clarity to the market and also lowered the barrier to entry for new drone manufacturers and providers, Pietruczanis said. This, along with companies like DJI bringing consumer solutions to the commercial The Teal Group's 2016 World Civil UAS Market Profi le and Forecast examines the relative growth rates of the market segments, the invest- ment trends by venture capital fi rms, and the strategies companies are using to address the market. It can be purchased at tealgroup.com. The worldwide UAS commercial market is projected to grow at a 32.6% compound annual growth rate from 2016 to 2025. " THE FRANCHISE MODEL LENDS ITSELF WELL TO OUR INDUSTRY. CUSTOMERS ARE CONCERNED WITH SAFETY AND LEGALITY. FRANCHISING IS ABOUT STANDARDIZATION AND DOING THINGS IN A VERY SPECIFIC WAY." Jesse Stepler, chief operating offi cer, Measure „ ¢ 32.6% compound annual growth $387 million billion $6.5 Source: Teal Group's 2016 World Civil UAS Market Profi le and Forecast 2016 2025

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