Last month we saw an abundance of reports highlighting the key players in this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. A common thread in those reports was the number of drones showcased at this year’s show. It seems as though every tech company was revealing a new drone or an enhanced version of their original model. Within the past year and a half, the amount of investments made in drone technology has increased by over 300%!
Businessinsider.com released an article earlier this month reflecting on statistics compiled by Statista. The data reveals the increase in investments that we’re seeing in the drone industry. In 2012, the drone industry saw $10million in venture capital investments. From there, the industry steadily increased, hitting $111million in investments back in 2014. What’s most forthcoming in the increase we saw between 2014 and 2015, jumping from that $111million to an astonishing $450million, a 305% increase in just a year!
Although we’re not seeing the same craze from consumers, venture capitalists seem eager to invest the technology. The models we saw at this year’s CES were more advanced, most equipped to avoid obstacles and prevent obstacles. Perhaps the most advanced “drone” we saw was EHang’s 184 AAV, which essentially operates just like a drone but simply carries a passenger. This fully autonomous drone isn’t on the market yet, however, EHang is working towards getting this “flying taxi” in the air. “It’s been a lifetime goal of mine to make flight faster, easier and more convenient than ever,” said Ehang CEO Hauzi Hu in an interview.
It’s hard to not see the value in the drone industry, especially after watching Ehang’s video of their 184. The autonomous car industry is booming thus, it’s not surprising to see this type of technology already in the works. While some consumers might not be interested in capturing aerial footage, the technology used for drones holds value. The drone industry will likely continue to boom with investments for years to come; however it’s unlikely that there will another 300% increase in investments.