If you are unfamiliar with PrecisionHawk’s efforts in the drone world, allow me to sum up that they are taking a data and software driven approach to transforming our airspace. The reality is, flight is easy. Well, not that easy, but effective aircraft have been around for a while.
PrecisionHawk understands that the way forward is in operating these craft remotely and using them in extremely effective ways to solve more diverse tasks. At AUVSI Xponential 2019 in Chicago, PrecisionHawk has announced their next steps for the Energy, Utility, Renewables, and Oil and Gas Markets.
The idea is simple, yet powerful, using AI and machine learning to identify the best ways to put drone data to work for you. Several systems are defined in the new PrecisionAnalytics business model, including tools for the Wind, Solar, Oil and Gas industries and more.
The new systems have many benefits for PrecisionHawk customers, primary of which are improved safety and reduced operational costs.
It is easy to understand that flying a drone is safer and less expensive than flying a manned helicopter for surveillance and inspection purposes. It is perhaps just as easy to understand that automating the drone flight is even more cost effective. Current law makes it hard to operate multiple drone per operator, but if you’ve overcome that obstacle, a single control station could manage several automated drones on mission.
PrecisionHawk is poised to make the most of automated systems, particularly as they are one of few entities certified for BVLOS operations. If you’ve been following that saga unfold, you know that most viable drone businesses are heavily restricted by VLOS requirements. You know this for your hobby drone in the backyard as well, right?!?
Efficiency is really the name of the game. Overall operational efficiency, that is. As an example, a drone or two making frequent automated inspections of a length of power line can catch issues that might not otherwise have been identified until failure. Sending a human out to inspect lines can be expensive, and very ineffective. Driving along side the lines can’t tell the whole story, and it’s unsafe to get too close with a helicopter – I’ve just convinced myself that a drone is the smartest tool for the job, even without solid AI tools like those of PrecisionAnalytics.
PrecisionHawk is a company we’ll continue to watch fairly closely. Many drone manufacturers have proven they can deliver a solid aircraft with reliable control, leaving the door wide open for more effective ways to utilize the machines.