As the New Year approaches, it’s time to start thinking about what 2018 will bring. Ivan Tolchinsky, CEO of global automated drone company Atlas Dynamics, takes a world view of the industry and offers some predictions of what’s next.
Tolchinsky has followed his company and manufacturing organization across the globe. He’s worked in Israel, Europe and China as the Atlas product – a fully autonomous commercial drone system with docking system – has evolved. From his experiences in developing, building and selling the product he sees four major trends emerging in the industry.
Regulations Will Increase
While this is something most industry followers see, Tolchinsky has a positive spin on it for the commercial drone sector. “Regulation will increase, driven by concerns over safety, privacy, and the illicit use of consumer drones to commit terror attacks,” says Tolchinsky. However: “Subsequently, this will open the market further for commercial drones, having begun to prove their worth in providing disaster relief this past summer, when the United States was hit with back-to-back hurricanes.”
Security and First Responders are Early Adopters
The rapid growth of the security sector is good news for the drone industry, says Tolchinsky, as the benefits in law enforcement and disaster response become clear. “Early adopters will be in security and first response, as seen during the natural disasters which struct the US and Puerto Rico this year. Professional drones were put to effective use in numerous first response capacities, including delivering supplies, infrastructure assessments and damage surveys, and search and rescue missions.”
New developments will improve drone offerings for the enterprise, says Tolchinsky. “Drone technologies will continue developing with fully integrated command, and control systems will enable fully autonomous operations and an increase in BVLOS (Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight) operations,” he says. “Concurrently, the increased use of mesh networks will allow communication and data transfer between drones for automatic security response and connectivity in emergency situations.”
The Drone Business Model
As the technology evolves and the use cases are proved, Tolchinsky sees drones moving in-house in the enterprise. “Business models will shift from the outsourcing of drones-as-a-service to organizations implementing more professional in-house drone-use-strategies,” Tolchinsky says. “This will be enabled by fully autonomous drone platforms, with advanced performance capabilities and ease-of-use.”
One thing that all regulators, analysts and industry stakeholders seem to agree upon is that 2018 will be a growth year for the drone industry.
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.