Velodyne, Airbus Among Companies Expanding into UAVs

Photo Credit: Airbus

As the drone industry grows, more and larger companies are focusing efforts on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Velodyne says one of the driving forces behind their under-construction “megafactory” is an increased demand for LiDAR sensors in unmanned vehicles, and aircraft company Airbus announced the opening of a new drone-centric facility in the United States.

French company Airbus, known for commercial jets, announced the opening of commercial branch Airbus Aerial on May 11.

“Using an integrated combination of assets, from UAS platforms to satellite imagery, Airbus Aerial is rolling out a wide range of new imagery services,” says Dirk Hoke, chief executive officer of Airbus Defence and Space.

The outpost will focus on cargo drone services and connectivity services incorporating drones, satellites, and ground stations.

“Drones are only a piece of a much larger picture for us,” says Kallman. “Airbus Aerial brings together a variety of aerospace technologies – including drones and satellites – combines them in a common software infrastructure, and applies industry-specific analytics to deliver tailored solutions to our customers’ biggest challenges.”

Airbus is partnering with Intel, which will provide drone platforms with Airbus’s software to deliver aircraft inspection services.

At AUVSI Xponential in Dallas, where the partnership was announced, Intel also demonstrated the Falcon 8+ drone, the latest platform from Intel and one which can easily swap payloads out depending on the needs of the customer. Airbus Aerial is actively looking for other business partners to help bring their data services to market in areas such as surveying, agriculture, oil and gas, and state and local government.

Airbus Aerial will be headquartered in Atlanta.