Weekly UAS News Update: Highlights and Key Takeaways
Welcome to this week's UAS news update. We have four important stories to discuss, touching on everything from new technology rollouts to the shifting strategies of major players in the drone market.
1. Aloft's New Multi-view Livestream Feature
The first on our list is about Aloft, a company renowned for their “Air Control” feature. They've recently overhauled their live streaming system for enterprise customers. This latest update facilitates multi-view streaming of drone feeds, making it easier for teams to collaborate. Additionally, a live map interface enables users to pinpoint the location of ongoing operations. An intriguing aspect of this update is the shareable link, which allows video content to be disseminated outside the user's organization. We'll be evaluating this new feature in the coming weeks and will provide a detailed review soon.
2. Amazon Prime Air Faces Management Challenges
Amazon Prime Air, according to a recent report from CNBC, has been experiencing a significant turnover in its management. Notably, Robert Dreyer, who oversaw Prime Air's testing operations, and Jim Mullen, the Chief Pilot, have both exited the company. Both were stationed at the Pendleton, Oregon site and declined to comment on their departures. Amazon's drone delivery ambitions have faced numerous challenges over the past few years, ranging from staffing to regulatory hurdles. A peculiar observation from another CNBC article highlights that Amazon has had to incentivize certain households with gift cards to make drone delivery orders. With Amazon falling short of its 10,000 delivery goal for 2023, there will inevitably be delays in acquiring the necessary flight time and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approvals for expansion.
3. Skydio's Shift from Consumer to Enterprise Drones
Skydio, in a surprising move, announced its exit from the consumer drone market. Revealed in a recent Instagram post, the company stated that after “careful consideration, we have made the decision to sunset our consumer drone offerings and shift our focus to exclusively serve enterprise and public sector consumers.” This strategic pivot isn't entirely unexpected, especially considering Autel and Parrot's similar decisions. Without releases from these companies in 2022 and 2023, DJI is left largely uncontested in the consumer drone sector. Skydio's aggressive lobbying against DJI raises questions about the future landscape of the industry. While DJI's consistent product releases have kept them at the forefront, the lack of competition may have broader implications for the consumer drone market.
4. Upcoming Events
For those interested in deepening their involvement in the drone community, there are some notable events on the horizon. The Commercial UAV Expo will be held from September 5th to 7th in Las Vegas. If you're attending, be sure to stop by booth 33 for engaging discussions and some cool giveaways.
The Colorado Drone Roundup is another event to mark on your calendar. Scheduled for September 17th and 18th in Buena Vista, Colorado, this event promises excellent networking opportunities and an immersive drone experience.
In addition to these events, tune in to our drone live stream on Monday for exciting stories and insightful Q&A sessions. After a brief hiatus due to travels, we're back and eager to engage with our audience.
To conclude, as we wrap up this week's news, remember to like, subscribe, and join us again next week for the latest updates in the UAS industry.
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