Drone Life: Drone Industry 2021 in a Word: We Asked Our Partners to Describe This Year in Drones
As we look forward to 2022, it’s time to reflect on the drone industry 2021. Despite chip shortages, new regulations, an ongoing global pandemic, and the challenges inherent in a growth sector, the drone industry came out on top in 2021. We asked our sponsors and partners to describe the drone industry 2021 in a word (or two) – and here’s what they said.
Brett Kanda, drone industry veteran and VP of Sales and Marketing at BRINC Drones, makers of drone solutions for law enforcement and first responders, says the industry is shifting.
“2021 was an inflection point in our industry. We saw the 90% market share lion in DJI start to lose some momentum and most importantly, key executives and personnel in North America. This has created an opportunity for other manufacturers to build differentiated solutions that can compete with DJI in the very near future. We also started to see the landscape change in terms of end user sentiment. The need for tailored solutions that solve niche problems were on the rise. No matter the vertical, the end user is becoming more educated and comfortable with robotics and autonomous systems. What we as an industry have been seeing and feeling for years is starting to bleed over to the end users in terms of ROI, value proposition, and capabilities for autonomous systems.”
For BVLOS Fixed Wing providers Censys, the advance of regulations for flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) has led to a lot of activity. Waivers are increasing, and customers are seeing the opportunity to take advantage of using unmanned systems in the field.
“We have seen an incredible increase of companies looking to start utilizing UAS in day-to-day operations and companies currently with UAS advancing their operations,” says Kyle Miller, Director of Business Development for Censys. “The number of BVLOS approvals we won in 2021 and drones we have sold are a testament to the booming industry.”
Coiled – Like a Snake!
Commercial UAV‘s Carl Berendtson always has the mot juste – and has a unique bird’s eye view of the drone sector, with the biggest rolodex in the industry. Despite the ongoing pandemic, Commercial UAV Expo put on a great show in Vegas this year, and is getting ready for the future – when flight beyond visual line of sight will help drive even more industry growth.
“I would say “coiled” like a rattlesnake,” says Berendtson. “Held back by external forces, but building momentum none the less, beneath the waves. BVLOS will be the catalyst to release the hounds.”