Chinese companies have been facing a lot of backlash across the world ever since the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic. China has also been stirring up issues with many neighboring countries, thus attracting a lot of negative attention from the world. In an attempt to stop China’s not so good advances, several countries are planning on banning Chinese applications and products, which is one of the main sources of China’s power in other countries. These days countries are actively asking their population to build or rather manufacture the products inside their own countries. India banned multiple Chinese apps the past weekend and encouraged its IT enthusiasts to build their apps.
Now the US is following in close steps, encouraging the usage of drones made in its own country instead of DJI drones made in China. Multiple safety organizations have discouraged the forces from using the Chinese-drones because there is a high risk of the data breach. A lot of these drone models are supposedly sending US information to the Chinese data servers. The US government and investors are now encouraging in-house drone companies related to both hardware and software to expand their workings.
Skydio is a US-based drone building firm, especially known for its self-navigating selfie drones has recently announced a huge investment worth 100 million dollars. They prompted that this will be used in the Research and development of new drone technologies as well as recruiting more talent in the company to encourage a new and better stream of ideas.
The US government has announced relief funding for five companies in the drone industries. Although the funding is coming under the name of COVID 19 care funds, it is still going to be invested in expanding these companies in the market. Five companies are receiving financial help worth $13 million, the companies being Skydio, AirMap, ModalAI, Graffiti enterprises, and Obsidian sensors.
The major issues with both the US and China are highly entangled dependencies of both the countries on each other. While most of the core technology is developed in the US like the chips, processors, and other tech stuff, the manufacturing of major hardware happens in China. During these strenuous times, both the countries are working towards decreasing this form of dependency on each other.
Drones are essentially seen as a huge part of the national security federations. They have time and again proved their high efficiency in solving missing cases, reaching places and people quickly, venturing into unknown areas, etc. Experts do not trust the DJI drones being used as a part of any national security organization; they believe that information will be at a high risk of getting wired to China.
In this scenario, the only option for the US is to build its drones in-house. There are firms like GoPro that have previously tried to enter the drone markets on a huge scale but have failed. But Skydio is determined to build software that will allow drones to fly autonomously, which gives hope for the industry. Overtime they are planning on converting more of their devices to autonomous mode, said Adam Bry, Skydio’s CEO. He also hinted that this could mean a lot of cost-cutting for companies looking to use autonomous drones. Since a lot of money goes into training pilots who can fly these non-autonomous drones, autonomous drones will save up that cost.
Image Source: Axios