As Growth and Regulation of Drones in the U.S. Increase / by FPM Team

  • Last week, Intel Corp. senior vice president for new technology Joshua Walden provided testimony to the U.S House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade that included “It has become increasingly clear to us that UAVs [Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles], like cars and watches, are a computing platform of the future. Applications and services enabled by this new connected UAV ecosystem will spur significant economic growth and will be driven by innovations in UAV technology … [however] a federal government approach that is overly prescriptive regarding the deployment of new hardware and software will deter the private sector’s ability to invent and compete in the marketplace.”
  • Testimony by Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International CEO Brian Wynne included "[Unmanned Aircraft Systems] will have a significant impact on our economy, as the industry is poised to be one of the fastest-growing in American history. Our economic impact study found that during the first decade following UAS integration into the National Airspace System, the industry will create more than 100,000 high-paying jobs and provide more than $82 billion in positive impact to the nation’s economy. Under the right regulatory environment, there’s no question these numbers could go even higher.”
  • Finally, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) task force submitted recommendations for registering drones that could help manage the increase in drone usage in U.S. air space.

OUR TAKE

  • With drone growth expected to exceed 1 million units sold in the United States this year, the FAA and other regulators will likely face many challenges as they seek to manage the growth of commercial and recreational drone operator, while minimizing the potential of collisions and privacy violations.
  • Many new solutions will leverage robotic, augmented reality, geospatial and communication technologies – this process will likely drive a convergence among “smart” land, air and sea transportation services.
  • Because many new drone purchasers will have minimal aviation experience, there will be many post-sales business opportunities including training and repair/maintenance services.