A breakneck innovation culture, a geographic profile that demands new logistics thinking and government backing have made China a drones powerhouse.
Since its inception, American and European leadership has defined the aviation world. The West’s role as the international leader for aviation has been largely uncontested; Boeing and Airbus’s duopoly in passenger aircraft manufacturing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) regulatory leadership set the standard for aviation safety across the globe.
Forecasts indicate clearly that China is set to become a leading force and disrupt the world of aviation.
1. The Chinese are innovating faster
The drone industry is characterized and driven by one company: Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI). DJI has over 70% of the global market share for the consumer drone industry, with revenue of $2.7 billion in 2017.
No Western-based company is able to compete with the complete supply chain integration, manufacturing pipeline, innovative pace and logistics support that defines the Shenzhen-based company. This provides immense and clear competitive advantages.
Time and time again, international competitors have failed to compete with the low cost of hardware and software design, manufacturing and logistics chain that define the broader Chinese economy.
DJI innovates quicker than any other drone company and integrates their competitor’s capabilities quickly, while also developing capabilities needed for safe flight faster than most; enabling better aerial data acquisition, video sharing and user experience.
Beyond implementing aerial imagery, Chinese manufacturers are well ahead of their competitors in the development and testing of autonomous systems for personal mobility.
Ehang, a Chinese company focusing on passenger transport without onboard control, completed its first human test flights in rural China in early 2018; boasting speeds of up to 130km/h and a maximum distance of 80 miles.
While international competitors exist, finding a test bed for new…