This is the biggest challenge for the drone industry in 2018, experts say

The biggest challenge for the drone industry in 2018 isn’t getting more funding or finding better employees. It’s not getting better drone hardware either.

Software product development is the  biggest challenge for the drone industry in 2018, according to a June 2018 study conducted by Drone Industry Insights, a Germany-based market research firm.

Drone Industry Insights asked 350 companies or groups about their drone industry applications, usage and experience. The survey responders were made up of 43% commercial drone users, 38% drone manufacturers and 19% research institutes or universities. All survey respondents resided or worked in any of the EU member states. Survey respondents were allowed to select multiple responses, which is why the percentages total up to more than 100%.

Software product development was rated the No. 1 priority over the next 12 months among drone users and service providers. 44% of respondents said software was the sector where they would pour the most resources in this year. Coming in at No. 2 was marketing and sales, picked as a top priority among 39% of drone users or service providers.

Software is imperative in making the drone industry actually work safely and efficiently, which could be why it’s such a priority.

“With UAVs—and in mobility more broadly—the software actually does have to be better when it’s released,” said Siggi Hindrichs, an early stage tech investor at Samsung NEXT, the venture capital arm of Samsung. “It’s likely “mission critical”. There could be real safety implications for payloads, passersby, or even passengers.” Continue reading This is the biggest challenge for the drone industry in 2018, experts say

Avoiding hostile drone takeover? Amazon has a patent for that

E-commerce giant Amazon.com isn’t just working on using drones for delivery. Amazon is working on beefing up security measures to prevent a potential hostile drone takeover.

Amazon last week was granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office titled “Hostile Takeover Avoidance of Unmanned Vehicles”,  an indication that the retailer is preparing for how it can prevent possible hostile drone takeovers — likely to prevent your expensive Amazon Prime Now orders from being overtaken en route and sent somewhere else instead — or simply to prevent hijackers from overtaking drones and crashing them intentionally.

The technology outlined in the patent theoretically equips drones with “techniques relating to detecting and recovering from hostile takeovers.”  Continue reading Avoiding hostile drone takeover? Amazon has a patent for that

How are drones most frequently used in Europe? You might be surprised

The buzz may be all about drone delivery, but the industry that is actually adopting drones the most is the surveying industry.

A whopping 79% of commercial drones in Europe are used for surveying and cartography, according to a June 2018 study conducted by Drone Industry Insights, a Germany-based market research firm.

That means about eight in ten drones flying in the skies above Europe for commercial use are carrying out surveying jobs. Continue reading How are drones most frequently used in Europe? You might be surprised

The Drone Girl is going off the grid — to fly drones in the arctic!!

Hey guys!

I’ve got a new, 10-day adventure up my sleeve. Today, I’m headed to the Canadian Arctic on a drone trip! I’ll be traveling with Quark Expeditions on their Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge trip.

For the next 10 days, you’ll find me 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. I’m looking forward to seeing beluga whales for the first time, encountering polar bears (just not too close, hopefully), and doing my favorite things to do in nature like hiking and kayaking.

Related read: Blueye’s Christine Spiten thinks underwater drones will save our oceans

And this trip should be especially exciting as a drone enthusiast. I often hear so many people say, “I don’t want to buy a drone given that they are restricted in so many areas!” Many people live within five miles of an airport, or had hoped to bring a drone with them into a National Park. Though flying drones near airports could change under LAANC, it truly is difficult to find places where you can legally fly drones. And even if it’s legal, a lot of people feel uncomfortable flying near crowds or buildings. That’s why I’m thrilled to head to the Arctic. No people to bother, no airports to worry about nearby — just completely free flying!!

The one big caveat? Continue reading The Drone Girl is going off the grid — to fly drones in the arctic!!

Find Drone Girl in ‘The Six-Word Lessons Series’ for drone hobbyists

New to drones, or perhaps looking for a gift idea for someone you want to get into drones?

A new drone hobbyist-focused book has released as part of  “The Six-Word Lessons,” and Drone Girl gets a shoutout in it too.

Six-Word Lessons for the Drone Hobbyist: 100 Lessons to Fly Your Drone Safely with Skill and Confidence” launched last month as a guidebook of 100 lessons to gain skill and confidence for flying drones as a hobby.

In 100 brief lessons, the book teaches readers about the many fun things you can do with a drone, including video and photography ideas, tips on choosing the right drone for you, properly operating your drone in all environments and situations, staying safe, following laws and rules, and how to avoid crashing and losing your drone.

Drone Girl has the absolute honor of being one of those 100 lessons — No. 96 to be exact! Here’s a sneak peek: Continue reading Find Drone Girl in ‘The Six-Word Lessons Series’ for drone hobbyists

The FAA is conducting an anonymous survey about drones

Got thoughts on drones? I thought you did.

The Federal Aviation Administration just released an anonymous survey about drone usage on its site — a sign that the FAA wants user input as it shapes the future of drone regulation.

The FAA’s survey is intended for people who have registered commercial drones, not hobbyists.

“The goal is to collect information on drone flight activities under the FAA’s small drone rule (Part 107), data that will help the FAA improve the services it delivers to the UAS community,” according to a statement from the FAA. Continue reading The FAA is conducting an anonymous survey about drones

Finally, a transparent drone insurance policy is here (with daily rates!)

Paying for a big insurance policy to cover your drone business, but not exactly sure what you’re paying for?

Finally, a drone insurance policy with transparent pricing is here.

DroneInsurance.com launched this week as a new insurance option that provides drone operators with 24/7 ground coverage and the option to purchase on-demand flight coverage for as little as a day or as long as a year. Flight liability limits range from $1 million to $25 million.

So what’s different about this insurance plan?

The neatest feature is a calculator that makes it completely transparent what you’re paying for.  Create an account, plug in what type of drone your flying or for how many days you need insurance, and the calculator will tell you the cost. Decide you want to change your coverage? Mark it in the calculator, and your price will change in real-time, updating before you commit to any different costs. Continue reading Finally, a transparent drone insurance policy is here (with daily rates!)

Boeing HorizonX makes investment in drone delivery startup Matternet

Boeing HorizonX Ventures has been on a tear lately investing in drone startups — and the venture capital group just expanded its portfolio to include a drone delivery company.

Boeing HorizonX Ventures, the venture capital arm of aerospace leader Boeing, led a $16 million Series A funding round in drone delivery startup Matternet.

The $16 million funding round was announced on Tuesday and includes participation from Swiss Post and Sony Innovation Fund.

Matternet said it is using the money to expand its urban operations.

Related read: Drone delivery is here today. Here’s how it works

Boeing HorizonX in October 2017 invested an undisclosed amount of money in Near Earth Autonomy, a Pittsburgh-based firm that develops technologies enabling autonomous flight such as drones. And in June, Boeing’s HorizonX led a relatively small $5 million funding round in San Francisco-based drone software startup Kittyhawk. Continue reading Boeing HorizonX makes investment in drone delivery startup Matternet