2018 Commercial Drone Industry Predictions

DroneDeploy, the leading mapping platfotm , has just released their 2018 Commercial Drone Industry Predictions. 

DroneDeploys sits at the forefront of drone technology. It has a global customer base, millions of acres of maps in a wide variety of verticals, and the industry’s largest app store of integrated partners.

Which are these top trends? Check out below!


AI and Machine Learning.

Most drone technology companies agree – AI and machine learning are coming of age.  The value in drone data is in the insights that it provides: AI helps to save time and improve the quality of that data and its analysis.  Machine learning is helping drones become more automated, consistent, and easy to use.

Drone Programs are Moving In-House.

A 2017 report by Skylogic Research saw 67% of drone programs using in-house employees, vs. 10% who outsourced to contractors.  DroneDeploy sees this trend continuing in 2018.

Fleets of Hundreds and Thousands of Drones.

DroneDeploy believes that as enterprise adoption continues its rapid advance, the industry will start to see large scale fleets deployed.  The technology is already there – demonstrated by Intel’s light shows and other commercial applications.  DroneDeploy thinks in 2018 those fleets may become mainstream.


The Consumerization of Drones.

Consumerization is the concept that complex machines get simple enough for anyone to use – and drones are definitely moving in that direction.  “The best technologies address the needs of individuals and businesses alike, while also solving problems across industries,” says DroneDeploy CEO Mike Winn.


“By knowing about the data collected, AI can benefit users as it gets to know what customers want to do with it. And machine learning will enable instant decisions during the drone’s flight.  For example, it can work to guarantee good image quality, and route the drone for a second pass where and when necessary,” says Nick Pilkington, DroneDeploy’s CTO.
One thing that all of the 2018 predictions we’ve seen for the drone industry agree upon is growth.  Options and tools are developing rapidly. The applications are expanding and adoption is increasing.   And all of it is good news for providers, pilots and their customers.