If you are a buyer, seller, or investor in UAV technology you may be interested in a survey currently being conducted by the Drone Analyst, Colin Snow. We recently spoke with Colin by phone regarding the survey, who its for, and what he expects to learn.
By way of background, Colin Snow is the principal of Skylogic Research, a firm that provides research, content, and advisory services that educate buyers, UAV businesses and investors on industry trends. The firm researches commercial drone industry and regulatory trends which feeds analysis that serves buyers with acquisition decisions; suppliers and service providers with insights into buyers needs, and investors assessing the technical and market viability of a particular company.
Snow began his research service as the Drone Analyst in 2012 and has been providing primary survey based research since then. In that time he has seen several important changes and developments. First, he noted, “In 2012 people felt the Department of Defense vendors had leg up on commercial drone market. What we have seen is the rise of consumer drones to do commercial work.” Another significant development was the FAA’s Part 107 ruling which relieved commercial flyers of need for a 333 exemption. The process for becoming an approved drone operator became much less complex. Third, the technology continues to advance at a rapid rate. Flights can be automated and use better sensors and cameras. Lastly,the use cases across major vertical industries is expanding.
The survey underway will help determine where those evolving developments are now. Specifically, Snow said it is going to look at:
- who is buying what type of drones, from which makers at what prices, and for what type of use
- exploring how large are drone based service providers and to how and where they are positioning themselves and to which industries
- business buyers and enterprises that have their own UAV operations or are contracting that out. What are their projects, how often to they fly to collect data, and what are they using it for
- how are service provides and business buyers using the software: flight management, flight automation and mission planing, data analytics for image based projects
The research is expected to provide a good view into what the critical key industry drivers are, size of vendor and service provider market shares, and business adoption trends and issues.
People who should take the survey are those individual and businesses that have purchased a drone in last 12 months. And there are incentives to do so. All participants will receive a summary of the report (a $95 value). In addition, participants will have an opportunity to win a DJI Spark and one of 2 Visa gift cards.
Asked what he might expect the survey to tell him, Snow ventured a couple of thoughts. He expects that:
- the majority of service providers will be small businesses;
- that aerial photography and video will remain the primary use cases;
- that surveying and mapping will rise in number (though not necessarily in percentage) as software developers put increased efforts into automating that process;
- that DJI’s market share may increase as a result of demise of 3DR and the stumbles of Yuneec and Autel to enter the market.
Finally, “business adoption may still be an issue” as a result of regulation complexity as state and municipalities contemplate regulations and the lack of a clear and proper business case. “But we may be wrong. You never know what you will find until you are done.”
You can find more information and take the survey here. It is expected to run until the week of August 9th.