Why Drone Rental Centers are the Future of Commercial Drones

The adoption of commercial drones is skyrocketing.  Research estimates of the commercial drone market vary from $2 billion to $20 billion: but however you measure it, the market is huge and growing.

Enterprise adoption offers some barriers to entry.  Industrial drones can be an expensive investment for companies not yet convinced about the ROI of a drone program.  Businesses without drone expertise on staff may not know how to choose an aircraft and appropriate sensors, meet local drone regulations, and fly accurately enough to collect consistent data.  Add on the problems of maintenance and repair and the issues can become insurmountable.

Leading Chinese industrial drone manufacturer MMC has developed a solution to drive adoption in the energy sector and beyond: full service Drone Rental Centers.

MMC opened their first drone rental center last year.  Since then, the concept has spread rapidly around the globe, with 6 centers currently open.  The idea is simple: let the experts handle the choice of drone, the flight, the repairs, maintenance, and upgrades.  The customer gets the job done safely and in less time – at a significant cost savings from performing the task by traditional means.

The Spider Solution, for example, is just one of MMC’s specialized industrial drones.  (MMC is an industry leader in surveillance, military, law enforcement, energy and agriculture applications.)  The Spider solution handles power line stringing – bringing electricity to remote terrains all over the world.  By offering drones and pilots through a rental center, MMC’s customers don’t have to have drone pilots, drone regulation experts or drone engineers on staff.  They also don’t have to take on the initial investment in an industrial drone and allocate to a variety of clients: instead, they can keep their accounting simple and know the accurate cost of a drone program for each project.  Finally, if customers do wish to invest in a drone, a rental agreement is the perfect way to try before purchase – getting the opportunity to complete a project and demonstrate value to stakeholders before taking the plunge.

MMC’s first drone rental center was opened in Europe, in a helicopter services and rental center.  It was a win-win situation for the helicopter services company, who recognized that drone services would inevitably erode their core business but didn’t have drone expertise in-house.  Collaborating with a leading drone company allowed them to keep their customers and expand their offering without having to learn an entirely new area of service.

Always on the lookout for new partners, MMC is working to expand their network.  As the advantages become more clear to enterprise customers, its a concept that could shape the entire commercial drone industry.