The State Of The Unmanned Industry
Assessing the health of an entire industry is not an easy task, but talking with industry leaders and looking for examples of growth and investment can help.
Our “State of the UAS/UAV Industry” inquiries have lead to discussions with General Atomics, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), Aeryon Labs and SensoFusion. SensoFusion might be a little well less known that the others, but we felt the need to include the views of an anti-drone system supplier to counterbalance the industry’s perception of itself.
Discussions included questions around the following issues:
- The level of maturity of common technologies in use on UAV platforms and systems?
- The level of maturity of integration of those technologies?
- A sketch portrait of the industry?
- Rough numbers or percentage of small players versus large ones?
- The rate of consolidation of companies (has it happened or has it yet to happen?)
- The financial underpinnings of the market — does it have real “legs” or will it be like the first Internet boom/bust?
If we start with a top-level overview of the industry, as a whole we find that on the commercial side it’s an industry trying to figure out what it is and who its customers might be. But there is also a well-established military part of the industry that is quite mature. A large number of multi-rotor UAV suppliers use simple handheld controllers, all aimed at different applications where they are seeking a niche. The FAA’s release of regulations last year for use of small unmanned vehicle systems (sUAS) has provided a real boost to many more commercial pay-for-service ways these vehicles are now being used. Continue reading about the state of this industry.