Why safety is paramount to growth of the drone industry
Special report: A new report likens the necessity of drone parachutes to that of car airbags – and one ASX-listed small cap stands to benefit.
There’s no doubt that the global drone market is growing, with estimates that the market for civilian use will reach USD$40 billion by 2025.
That’s bigger than the projections for blockchain enterprise applications ($19.9 billion), stem cell ($15.63 billion), and 3D scanning ($8 billion).
(Stockhead has also reported the drone market is predicted to go mainstream over the next two years.)
However, every industry has its challenges, and in the case of the drone industry, experts say safety is fast becoming one of the key concerns.
It is estimated that 300 drones will crash per day in the US alone by 2021.
Further, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported nearly 5,000 incidents of drones flying in restricted airspace over the past four years – and that’s just the reported incidents.
A new report by Pitt Street Research says the vast majority of drones are shipped without any sort of safety system, which can be instrumental in ensuring drones land safely.
As the report states – ‘drones need parachutes like cars need airbags’.
Ready to fly
There is one ASX-listed small cap that stands to benefit from the growing demand for safety solutions.
ParaZero has developed SafeAir – a solution that ensures safe flight operations for commercial drones.
It can be deployed onto any drone and monitors different parameters including speed, altitude, temperature, vibration and gyration.
ParaZero’s (ASX:PRZ) safety system analyses any malfunctions or user errors to determine if these could be critical, and uses this information in real-time to save payloads, protect crowds, prevent the drone from flying into restricted airspace, and protect the drone from damage.
If needed, it can stop the drone’s rotors and set off a siren and flashing lights to alert any people below before deploying a parachute to land the drone safely.
New game, new rules
Regulators are still grappling with how to support commercial drone use while ensuring public and civil safety are first and foremost, with the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) leading the way.
“We expect most regulation coming out of the FAA and the EASA may serve as a blueprint for drone usage regulation in other countries around the world, which could expedite the adoption of drones quite substantially,” the report says.
ParaZero says it has been working closely with aviation authorities around the world to help drive some of the change needed to enable safe flight operations over populated areas and beyond visual line of sight.
It recently received the first waiver to fly drones with parachutes above crowds.
Marc Kennis of Pitt Street Research said the first-of-its-kind waiver opens the door for increased drone flight over people to be used in all verticals, such as inspection, construction, public safety and law enforcement.
“ParaZero is well positioned to meet the demands of a very high-growth market and the competition appears to be lagging behind ParaZero’s holistic approach to drone safety systems,” said Kennis.
ParaZero says it plans to be launching sales of its consumer safety solution ahead of the Christmas period, with the report anticipating that sales volumes of the consumer product will be “substantially higher than those of professional systems.”
According to Gartner, consumer drones dominated unit sales with 94 per cent of the market in 2017.
ParaZero is a Stockhead advertiser.