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2018 Predictions for the Drone Industry

As we look ahead to 2018, Ivan Tolchinsky, CEO of Atlas Dynamics, a young aerospace company providing autonomous and semiautonomous professional drone solutions, gives his predictions on where he believes the drone industry is headed.

  1. Regulation will increase. This will be driven by concerns over safety, privacy, and the illicit use of consumer drones to commit terror attacks. “Subsequently, this will open the market further for commercial drones, having begun to prove their worth in providing disaster relief this past summer when the U.S. was hit with back-to-back hurricanes,” he says.
  2. Early adopters will be in security and first response. This was most evident this past year during the natural disasters that struck the U.S. and Puerto Rico. “Professional drones were put to effective use in numerous first-response capacities, including delivering supplies, infrastructure assessments and damage surveys, and search-and-rescue missions,” notes Tolchinsky.
  3. Drone technology will continue to develop. This will include fully integrated command and control systems that will enable fully autonomous operations and an increase in beyond visual line-of-sight operations. “Concurrently, the increased use of mesh networks will allow communication and data transfer between drones for automatic security response and connectivity in emergency situations,” he says.
  4. Business models will shift. Tolchinsky believes models will move from the outsourcing of drones as a service to organizations implementing more professional in-house drone-use strategies. “This will be enabled by fully autonomous drone platforms, with advanced performance capabilities and ease of use,” he says.
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