ORLANDO, Fla. — Spend a few minutes on the gigantic exhibition floor at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) 2014 convention and it becomes clear that the military drone business is alive and well. Uniformed men and women from all over the world stroll among the 600 or so displays, while representatives show off everything from quadcopters that can fit in the palm of your hand to hulking high-altitude drones capable of carrying wingloads of high-precision missiles.
But the future of the drone industry is not just military; it’s civilian. “The commercial industry is going to be taking over,” said Bill Powers, research fellow at the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. “It’s going to become a huge market.”
According to Michael Toscano, president of AUVSI, the commercial market will outstrip military demand within the next decade. “Most people understand that the growth is going to be in the commercial world,” Toscano said. Indeed, despite the visible presence of military representatives (who attend the convention for free) 76 percent of the AUVSI’s 8,000 attendees registered as having affiliations with the commercial sector.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com