The Commercial Drone Market Will Not Be Monopolized, Not Even By DJI
Following the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board’s legalization of commercial usage for small unmanned aerial systems(sUAS) in 2014, the commercial drone market is beginning to supplant the consumer market as the main area of investment and innovative activity. After Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rule changes in August 2016, vendors in the U.S. further hope to offset China’s domination of the consumer market by taking advantage of the commercial opportunities drones provide; namely instantly processing aerial imagery and transferring it into meaningful data that can be collected and analyzed cheaply and quickly. This new market touches on myriad sectors; from agriculture and mining to inspection and film-making. While drone manufacturers DJI and others have pivoted to exploit these opportunities, the primacy of applications over platforms will make it hard for it, or any other vendor to dominate what is going to be a considerably more varied and heterogenous sUAS industry.
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