Perry describes the partnership between DJI and DroneDeploy, leading drone mapping and data platform, as a “game-changing moment” for DJI’s software development kit (SDK) allowing customers to use DJI drones for significant commercial use. DroneDeploy has a large and growing customer base in agriculture, construction, infrastructure and other verticals.
Now the world’s leading provider of commercial drones through their prosumer offerings, it’s clear that DJI has been successful in their efforts to serve enterprise customers. In the next five years, Perry says, the FAA expects to see a 3x increase in the use of personal drones – but a 10x increase in the use of professional drones. “We think that’s a realistic estimate,” says Perry. “But there are barriers.”
Perry says that commercial customers often struggle to scale drone programs throughout the enterprise. “There are two problems,” says Perry. “Selling up – and selling down.” He points out that it is difficult for stakeholders to address corporate issues such as liability and insurance – and sometimes equally difficult to address the concerns of the field workforce who will have to learn a new solution. These aren’t simple issues to address, Perry says. They require development in all aspects of the workflow: hardware, software, and services – a true “ecosystem solution.”
When it comes to hardware, Perry says that the company is continually working to develop different levels of hardware and sensors. From a weather-hardened industrial drone to the smaller and more flexible Mavic, DJI is working to increase the number of insights that customers can get from one flight.
DJI is also working closely with customers to understand how they are using drones, and what insights they need. By partnering with software providers like DroneDeploy, DJI is working to streamline workflows and grow value. Finally, the company is addressing services and training in order to increase support for new enterprise users.
“We’re seeing steady progress,” says Perry.
Perry ended his talk by addressing some of the PR issues around privacy that the company has suffered from in recent months, as rumors of DJI drones being blocked for use by the U.S. government abound. The recent introduction of Aeroscope is one solution that they have introduced to directly address the problem.
“There’s one aspect that we can’t institutionalize,” he says. “And that’s trust… we need to address trust from the aspect of what is the drone industry as a whole.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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