Challenges Still Hampering Drone Industry’s Growth

There is no doubt about the huge promise of drones in business and the private sector, yet challenges are still hampering the drone industry’s growth.

The New York Times carried an AP article that says big obstacles still remain. Advocates of the young drone industry complain that the long wait is keeping them grounded. Big-money investors are generally staying away, waiting for clear government guidelines. And the blanket flight prohibition has prevented companies from experimenting and advancing the technology. That includes developing sophisticated collision-avoidance systems or finding ways for the aircraft to navigate without human help.
“Most of these drones have very limited safety features,” says Maryanna Saenko, an analyst with science and technology consultancy Lux Research. If one crashes, “it’s a four- or five-pound brick coming out of the sky.”

The same article notes that the drone industry could generate $13.7 billion worth of economic activity in the U.S. and create 70,000 new jobs, according to the industry’s trade group, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, if it surpasses those obstacles related to safety and regulations.

In the meantime, the CEO and founder of GoPro, Nick Woodman, revealed his optimism about drones at the CES 2015 event, saying they are a big part of the entertainment and media future. “GoPro is good for drones and drones are good for GoPro. Look at what people are doing in 2015, just think about what they will be doing in 5 years.” Woodman said. Dressed in a t-shirt, Woodman asked an excited crowd if they would like to see GoPro manufacture a drone. His question was received with enthusiastic cheers, but he then declined to speak about GoPro’s specific plans for drones, joking “It’s so much better to tease you guys. I could string this along for five years.” Read more here:

Among the most popular drones catered to by those rendering aerial photo services for weddings and real estate marketing, or for personal recreation, make use of GoPro cameras.

In fact, a Forbes article written last year refers to a report by Wall Street Journal, the company, according to people familiar with it, was said to be “developing its own line of consumer drones to expand from its core business of making wearable video cameras popular with surfers and other sports enthusiasts”. These people then go on to claim that GoPro will begin selling “multirotor helicopters equipped with high-definition cameras late next year, aiming for a price tag between $500 and $1,000”, says the report. Read more of the article here:


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