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Why Was 2021 the Rise of the American-Made Drone?

  • 3 wk ago

Alot of changes characterized the drone industry in 2020 and 2021 that has Commercial UAV News and the industry excited for what 2022 has in store. One of the more exciting trends we’ve seen was witnessing American-made solutions become major players in the drone space, with companies like Skydio leading the charge. 

Getting a foothold in the drone market has been a challenge for American companies for many years. Other American companies have tried to contend with DJI’s majority share hold in the past, like 3DR and Airware, but they eventually left the market, leaving the behemoth relatively unscathed. Today, we are seeing that dynamic changing in a big way.

In 2021 alone, Skydio was named Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan, was given numerous awards like the CES Innovation Award for its X2 drone, and AUVSI’s Innovators Award for their 3D Scan software product. They were named one of the 10 most innovative companies in robotics by Fast Company and were given a $1 Billion Dollar valuation (the first American drone company to reach that benchmark). They were also  tapped to supply short-range reconnaissance drones to the US Army, witnessed the approval of their technology, their dock-based Skydio drones, to operate autonomously along a large portion of the BNSF Railway, and launched their 3D Scan and Skydio Cloud software products–the first of many steps toward becoming a full-stack solution. By any metric, Skydio has seen phenomenal growth and success in 2021. 

So, what were the conditions that led to this level of success? Skydio has attributed this to evolving market dynamics, its ability to attract top talent to the drone industry, and its focus on building solutions that work for enterprise customers. They believe that these factors have created an environment where companies who position themselves with the right culture, talent, and industry knowledge can compete with incumbent market leaders.

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