Making The Case For Drones In Commercial Markets

Today at TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015, the CEOs of Sky Futures, Verifly and Airware took the stage with TechCrunch writer Frederic Lardinois in an attempt to explain how drones can be used other than for taking selfies. But, before that can happen, common sense regulation is needed, the panel argued.

Chris Blackford of SkyFutures stated that his company, which provides drone solutions for monitoring oil pipelines, faces generational challenges in getting big companies to transition to using, what he said, are basically flying robots. His company spends a lot of time educating users. It’s an easy win with younger generations.

Jay Bregman of Verifly explained that the drone market is still dominated by consumer drones and even those that are accredited to fly commercially often purchase drones intended for consumers like those sold by DJI.

Regulations still pose a major challenge. France has a great model, Buddy Michini of Airware said, pointing to the common sense regulation that the US largely mirrored in the creation of its upcoming regulation.

“In the US you don’t have to register your guns, but you will have to register your drones,” noted Lardinois.

Bregman pointed to automotive history when arguing for drone regulation. He pointed out that regulation and mandatory insurance grew out of a rise of accidents, which stuck victims with the bill. And as the drone market will grow exceptionally over the next few years, the market will require similar practices.

Registration will give owners a sense of responsibility, said Blackford. “It’s the first step,” Bregman added, giving the example that if a drone crashes into a person’s yard and causes damage, they could give the drone to the police.

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