Drone companies saw a record number of deals last year. On a quarterly basis, Q1'17 was the most active quarter historically for deals, reaching 32 investments worth $113M. Within the space, terrestrial imagery, infrastructure inspection, and delivery have emerged as some of the primary use cases for drone technology. Using CB Insights data, we identified over 70 leading private companies in the drones space and categorized them into the twelve main categories in which they operate. We define drones broadly to include software and hardware companies developing technologies related to unmanned aerial, marine, and/or land vehicles designed for unstructured environments.
UAVs are tackling everything from disease control to vacuuming up ocean waste to delivering pizza, and more. Drone technology has been used by defense organizations and tech-savvy consumers for quite some time. However, the benefits of this technology extends well beyond just these sectors. With the rising accessibility of drones, many of the most dangerous and high-paying jobs within the commercial sector are ripe for displacement by drone technology. The use cases for safe, cost-effective solutions range from data collection to delivery. And as autonomy and collision-avoidance technologies improve, so too will drones' ability to perform increasingly complex tasks. According to forecasts, the emerging global market for business services using drones is valued at over $127B. As more companies look to capitalize on these commercial opportunities, investment into the drone space continues to grow. A drone or a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) typically refers to a pilotless aircraft that operates through a combination of technologies, including computer vision, artificial intelligence, object avoidance tech, and others. But drones can also be ground or sea vehicles that operate autonomously.
This ebook, based on the latest ZDNet / TechRepublic special feature, examines how driverless cars, trucks, semis, delivery vehicles, drones, and other UAVs are poised to unleash a new level of automation in the enterprise. Few technologies have been more anticipated heading into the 2020s than autonomous vehicles. Tantalizingly close and yet still perhaps decades from market adoption in some use cases, the technology is as promising as it is misunderstood. You've heard the consumer hype, but what gets less ink are the transformative changes that autonomous vehicles will bring -- in some cases already are bringing -- to the enterprise. Affecting sectors as disparate as shipping and logistics, energy, agriculture, transportation, construction, and infrastructure -- to name just a few -- it's hard to overstate the impact of the diverse and versatile set of technologies lumped into the decidedly broad category of'autonomous vehicles'. This guide will help you sort the hype from the business reality and tell you all you need to know about the autonomous vehicle revolution on the ground, in the air, and even at sea. In 1939, General Motors predicted we'd have an autonomous vehicle highway system up and running by the dawn of the 1960s. As with a lot of autonomous vehicle hype, that prediction was a tad premature, but it demonstrates the long history of autonomous vehicle development.