UAVs move from toys to commercial use

The current hotspots in the technology circle are non-UAVs. Whether it is "breaking into" the White House or helping Wang Feng to make a headline, the exposure of drones has soared day by day, and the commercial value of the "big toys" in the new era is rapidly digging. There have been rumors recently that MI has invested in a new drone research and development team. Last week, Taobao and Yuantong joint merchants carried out drone delivery services in specific areas such as Beijing.


With the gradual application in the field of aerial photography, express delivery, and security, the commercial value of drones is being tapped, and the heating of the drone consumer market has also made drone manufacturing companies highly regarded.


Small things, large output value


The drone was originally a "toy" of geeks (referring to cutting-edge technology enthusiasts), but a technology product within a niche range. As exposures increase, so does the discussion about the drone market. At the beginning of this year, 14 companies in the field of drones participated in the CES exhibition (International Consumer Electronics Show), which leads the global consumer electronics trend, including IT giants such as Intel.


According to data from the Consumer Electronics Association, the number of civilian UAVs in the world is expected to be sold in 2015. The market size is expected to increase by 55% compared with last year, reaching 130 million U.S. dollars. In 2018, the global UAV market is expected to grow at least. One billion dollars. This market forecast also shows the value of this technology product and the prospects in this field to the outside world.


Domestically, there are also unimaginable drone hardware manufacturers. Among them, Dajiang Innovation Technology Co., Ltd. is the most representative. According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, DJI accounts for 50% of the global small drone market share. The protagonists in the recent news that sparked discussions have received more attention from the industry. The company was founded in 2007, and its sales increased from more than 3 million yuan in 2010 to more than 800 million yuan in 2013. It is expected that there will be more than three times growth in 2014.


In addition, domestic drone manufacturers are also favored by capital in the near future. Among them, Feifei completed a $20 million Series A financing, and Yihang Airlines also completed a $10 million Series A financing. Recently, DJI will also receive an investment of 200 million yuan from Sequoia Capital. With the financing, the valuation of these companies has also increased by dozens of times.


"Toy" encounters policy threshold


UAVs are beginning to gain popularity, thanks to lower manufacturing costs and improved technology. At present, consumer-grade civil drones have become a favorite for some lovers at relatively low prices.


A DJI person admits that the four-rotor aircraft is very fun, but it has also been explored as a valuable industry outside of toys. In the transition from professional to consumer products, in addition to the important entry barrier of price, the biggest resistance is the perception from consumers.


Huyiqiang, CEO of Haixiang Aviation Technology Co., Ltd. explained that the trend of popularization of civilian drones in the past decade has emerged as a new generation of civilian drones featuring low-cost hardware and software and modular design. However, cost and performance, reliability, and safety are contradictions that are difficult to reconcile. Civil machines are still not comparable to traditional manned aircraft with airworthiness certificates.


"Some of the drone manufacturers who are the model aircraft have insufficient technical reserves and lack of airworthiness regulations for aircraft. Although efforts are being made to improve product reliability, security risks still exist." Huyiqiang said, policy requirements The initial airworthiness of the drone is managed according to the method of the licensed flight certificate, and the registration is required. The drone with an operating weight of more than 7 kg is required to hold the driver's certificate, but the statistics on February 9 show that the number of passengers in the current drone is A total of 244 people.


Many people believe that the consumer drone market is in urgent need of policy guidance, and that the support of the policy will help it get rid of the toy definition and explore a broader business model. Enterprises are hoping that the application of new technologies can be quickly realized. However, if you can't find a suitable commercial scene, you will eventually get a bucket of water.


Commercial scene extension


“There is a voice in the industry that the commercialization of drones is only a gimmick, but in fact, the successful application scenarios exist.” Huyiqiang believes that, apart from the regulatory level, there are still defects in the technical aspects of UAVs, but some application areas such as aerial photography and aerial survey These shortcomings can be circumvented, and companies can profit margins by choosing the right commercial scenario development market.


DJI CEO Wang Tao has said that manipulating flight models for aerial photography is a lucrative business, and will be used in almost all filming scenes with exterior scenes. The performance of Dajiang UAV in aerial photography and aerial survey has also been recognized by the market.


UAVs are also receiving attention in the field of logistics and transportation. In fact, several major e-commerce giants such as Amazon and DHL have begun to experiment with drone logistics. For example, Amazon launched the Prime Air drone logistics program, Google acquired the drone company titan Aerospace, and Germany approved DHL. Machine delivery. Domestically, Taobao, Yuantong and SF have also joined the ranks of UAV logistics.


HuYiqiang said that the use of drones for cargo transportation will inevitably be achieved, but at this stage is limited by cost, and supervision still needs to be improved. Therefore, it takes several years to see the real application.


In addition, drones can also be used in agricultural production, rescue, energy, wildlife protection, and other fields. The industry predicts that in the future, the UAV in the civilian consumer class will be more widely used, but it still needs to be polished in various aspects such as technology, enterprise, and policy.


The company whose main business is civil drones is not very large, and it is easy to encounter development bottlenecks. In an industry that lacks effective barriers to competition and barriers, it is also difficult to create profits. UAV companies need to focus on the applicable business scenarios in order for product prices to cross the coast line.

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