Parrot launches drone division targeting construction, agriculture
Parrot, a drone maker based in France, announced that it will launch a new "prosumer" division that targets the construction and agriculture industries, according to Recode.
The new business segment will offer drone hardware options that range from $1,000 to $5,000 — which represents a middle ground between its current low-end and high-end offerings.
The news follows the company's announcement earlier this year that it would lay off approximately a third of its workforce amid weak consumer demand and shift its focus toward the commercial sector.
Parrot aims to compete with the dominating drone hardware company, DJI, which is based in Shenzhen, China. DJI's Phantom line of quadcopter drones has boosted its share of the U.S. commercial drone market.
Even with DJI's strong grip on the market, the commercial segment continues to soar, making room for other companies to gain a foothold. The Federal Aviation Administration predicted in its 2017-2027 Aerospace Forecast that commercial drone use will reach between 442,000 and 1.6 million units by 2021.
Parrot's focus on the construction industry also coincides with demand, as the FAA reported that the combination of construction, industrial and utility inspection has a 26% share of total commercial drone use currently. In addition, a 2016 report from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International found that the construction and infrastructure sectors are two of the largest drone users.
Drones can benefit the building process in myriad ways, including surveying, job-site monitoring, and photo and data collection. That data can be sent back to the project team to offer progress updates and improve cost and schedule efficiencies by reducing the chance for error.