Be prepared in the near future when you gaze into the blue skies to perceive a whole series of strange-looking things – no, they will not be birds, nor planes, or even superman. They may be temporarily, and in some cases startlingly mistaken as UFOs, given their bizarre and ominous appearance. But, in due course, they will become recognized as valuable objects of a new era of human-made flying machines, intended to serve a broad range of missions and objectives. Many such applications are already incorporated and well entrenched in serving essential functions for extending capabilities in our vital infrastructures such as transportation, utilities, the electric grid, agriculture, emergency services, and many others. Rapidly advancing technologies have made possible the dramatic capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/drones) to uniquely perform various functions that were inconceivable a mere few years ago.
The film explores the drone as a cultural object, not just as a new instrument of visual story telling but also as the catalyst for a new collection of urban sub cultures. In the way the New York subway car of the 80s gave birth to a youth culture of wild style graffiti and hip hop the age of ubiquitous drones as smart city infrastructure will create a new network of surveillance activists and drone hackers. From the eyes of the drones we see two teenagers each held by police order within the digital confines of their own council estate tower block in London. A network of drones survey the council estates, as a roving flock off cctv cameras and our two characters are kept apart by this autonomous aerial infrastructure. We watch as they pass notes to each other via their own hacked and decorated drone, like kids in an old fashioned classroom, scribbling messages with biro on paper, balling it up and stowing it in their drones...In this near future city, drones form both agents of state surveillance but also become co-opted as the aerial vehicles through which two teens fall in love.
Drones represent a huge opportunity in the construction industry today--and in the future. Goldman Sachs, for instance, predicts a $100 billion market opportunity for drones by 2020. Naturally, consumer and military are big opportunities, but it actually predicts that the fastest growth will happen in businesses and civil governments, with an expectation that they will spend $13 billion on drones between now and 2020. The construction industry is one that is quickly discovering the benefits of drones in the space--and some technology companies are making big moves that will make it easier to do inspection-surveying. Case in point: Topcon Positioning Group recently announced the Intel Perpetual License Inspection-Surveying provision for the Intel Falcon 8 Drone – Topcon Edition will now be included with the system.
But despite extensive company-government cooperation--spurred by White House pledges to fast-track decisions--trade-association leaders now see final FAA regulatory action stretching past the end of the decade. Some experts say 2022 is more likely. That would be up to three years later than some of the agency's initial projections, and many months longer than a revised timetable the FAA and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, shared informally just months ago. "I'm not happy about it," said Brian Wynne, president and chief executive of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the industry's leading trade group. The process needs to move forward, he said in an interview, because so many commercial applications are in a holding pattern until new rules are approved.
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.