2020 was very exciting for the drone market in many areas, especially economically and technologically. New sensors and devices have appeared on the market, the German government has taken a clear stance for a “DroneConomy” in Germany with many funding projects and the Drone Action Plan, and the EU is preparing for the new EU Drone Regulation. We would like to venture an outlook for the coming year. What does 2021 hold in store for the drone economy and unmanned aviation? Here are three topics that we are sure to encounter next year.
1. Urban Air Mobility
2020 has laid a foundation here. Urban Air Mobility has never been as big a topic as it was last year. We expect 2021 to surpass this.
Projects like Medifly Hamburg have made big waves, further spreading interest in UAM issues. Not least among the general public, who are experiencing how the still very young field of unmanned aviation can also be used for medical purposes.
Added to this are the enormous advances in technology and feasibility. One example here is Volocopter with their air cab and the brand new development in collaboration with ADAC, the use of multicopters for rescue services.
So in 2021, we will again hear a lot from the Urban Air Mobility sector. Not least because UAM will have its own thematic area for the first time at the world’s largest mobility congress. In October, the ITS World Congress will finally take place in Europe again – in Hamburg, to be precise.
Smart, smarter, drones. The development of new technologies for these versatile flying machines will not take a break next year. Whether equipped with more complex sensor technology or combined with artificial intelligence for precise, fully automated analyses, we will again hear about various exciting projects.
Automated drone use at companies will stand out in particular. While 2020 saw various test runs at companies in construction, energy, real estate, planning & surveying, 2021 could be the year when automated flights really take off. This is partly due to confirmed feasibility and partly due to new EU rules. These will greatly simplify repetitive and automated flying. Perhaps one or the other will discover a UAV during power pole inspections.
3. The new EU Drone Regulations
We will see in 2021 how well the new rules can be implemented. Since there are still many unanswered questions about the exact implementation, we are looking forward to the coming year with great anticipation.
In our opinion, there could be a lot of confusion among pilots and operators. The problem is: Not all rules come into force immediately. Several transitional phases are defined in EU regulation. In addition, the member states must make individual decisions on individual points. For example, on the minimum age of pilots. We will, of course, stay on top of the issue and keep you informed on a regular basis.
Here we have prepared a series of articles for you on the subject, with everything we know so far.
Nevertheless, we do not want to be all pessimistic about the new regulatory system. After all, the new system will make it possible for unmanned aerial systems to be used much more widely in the coming years and to be deployed more quickly, more easily, and much more usefully.
We look forward to another year and, above all, an exciting year with you!
Your FlyNex Team