• Financial Times: Start-ups see a new technology revolution in UAS

    Financial Times: Start-ups see a new technology revolution in UAS

    Jonathan Downey used to work on one of Boeing’s most exciting new projects developing autonomous helicopters, but he soon became frustrated by the slow pace of innovation in a large organisation.

    Instead, he decided to set up his own company, Airware, which makes autopilot systems and other software for the new generation of drones that are being aimed at the domestic market.

    “That is definitely part of what convinced me that a lot of the winners in the space will be smaller start-up companies who want to try new things quickly and keep costs low,” says Mr Downey, co-founder and chief executive of the Newport Beach-based company.

    When the Pentagon was the only customer for drones, the market was dominated by many of the same large defence contractors that sell other multimillion dollar items to the US Department of Defence, including Northrop Grumman and Boeing.

    But with the prospect that drones will be used more widely in domestic airspace, a wave of start-up companies, with venture capital backers and a Silicon Valley mindset, are springing up to take on the big contractors for this new market.

    To read the full story on the Financial Times click here.
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