Consumer drones such as the Phantom and Mavic line of drones have dominated not just the consumer drone market of hobbyists, or professional photographers. Even commercial users looking to use drones n technical fields like inspections, mining, oil and gas and agriculture have been using fairly low-cost drones like the Phantom or Mavic.
But that might change. At least, Drone Deploy thinks so. Drone Deploy, which creates aerial mapping software, released a report of its “2019 Commercial Drone Industry Predictions,” and one of its most surprising predictions suggests that enterprise drone hardware will outpace consumer models in 2019.
DJI itself is already pivoting deeper into the enterprise market, releasing products focused at commercial buyers, such as DJI’s Phantom 4 RTK and the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual. Last month, DJI released its “Government Edition drone,” intended for use in high-security situations by government agencies around the world.
Part of the reason for the change is that enterprise-grade drones have gone down in price. And yes, even the biggest corporations have a budget.
For companies seeking highly-accurate data collection, RTK tech can now be found in drones for less than $7,000, and the Mavic 2 with thermal camera is now just $2,700. That’s down almost 5x from previous DJI drones equipped with thermal cameras, according to Drone Deploy.
It also has to do with the fact that enterprise adoption of drones is growing lately. While RC enthusiasts and photographers jumped on drones at a massive scale as soon as ready-to-fly drones like the Phantom hit the market, bigger companies are often slower to adopt to new technology.
But that trend is changing. Enterprise drone use increased by 58 percent from 2016 – 2017, according to DroneDeploy, and the company said it expects even faster growth in 2019.
And you can also expect to see those big companies offering not just one, not just two, but many — as in hundreds — of drones at once.
DroneDeploy says it is now seeing customers transitioning
from proof of concepts with 1-10 drones in 2016 – 2017, to scaling
operations in 2018 with 10-50 drones, to having fully scaled
deployments with over 100 drones, such as Corteva Agrisense, which deploys more than 400 drones.