Concerns About Chinese Made Drones Could Drive the Commercial Drone Industry to New Heights

LOS ANGELES: U.S. government agencies have instituted policy bans on DJI and Chinese drone purchases as Congress continues to mount its own offensive to ban Chinese drones. All this is expected to drive the burgeoning commercial drone industry to new heights.

Larger integrated companies that have been moving to meet the need for increased threat detection and drone or security technology are experiencing significant interest in this area including Synaptics, Incorporated (NASDAQ: SYNA), L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:  LHX) and Smiths Group (OTCPK: SMGKF).

So far, one U.S. company has stepped up to offer a domestic immediate solution: Plymouth Rock Technologies (OTCQB: PLRTF) (CSE: PRT) had already been working on “Made in the U.S.A.” drones with all parts sourced from US/NATO partners. Between its X1 and XV drones, it has two products it can sell to government agencies as well as state and local public safety departments who now must to look for non-China-sourced products.

Over the past several years, the heat has been increasing on Chinese drone manufacturing giant Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) and others. Multiple U.S. government agencies have instituted policy bans on DJI and Chinese drone purchases along with use of their drones. This includes the Departments of Defense (DoD), Department of Justice (DoJ), Interior (DoI), and Homeland Security (DHS), who has been echoing warnings to others over this year. Add to this a draft Executive Order that’s making its rounds in D.C. and the fact that the U.S. will not use China made drones or parts in its future security seems apparent.

Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (FY20 NDAA), essentially codifying DoD’s policy ban into law.  In the Conference Report for that Act, members expressed unanimous bipartisan support for the POTUS Determination No. 2019–3 to strengthen domestic production of the sUAS industry and encouraged the SecDef to implement it aggressively.

What’s not apparent but is now shaping up to be a major coup for US companies, is the fact that these actions are driving the commercial drone market to new heights.

This Could Be a Golden Opportunity

For the U.S. commercial drone industry, this new circumstance is perhaps a truly golden opportunity. We know for certain that the way things are now are not necessarily the way they will always be. Most of us will recall more than a decade ago when Nokia had the corner on the mobile phone-making market; they were at the top of the heap and supposedly untouchable. Then along came Apple and Android, who completely crushed the tech giant. So goes the market and the fast-moving pace of today’s tech innovations.

So, there is currently a very real and mass hunger for “Made in America” drones. In a report authored by the DRONERESPONDERS, researchers found that “88%, (196 of the 224 public safety respondents)” would purchase a drone from a company headquartered in the U.S. if all else were equal.

Director of DRONERESPONDERS, Charles Werner suggests there is a need some good old-fashioned American innovation to take hold.

“Simply banning these assets without a viable replacement, in terms of price point and operability, is a non-starter,” he says. If the ADSA passes – the act that will ban all use of drones and parts from China – Werner suggests that, “We need to use those two years before implementation wisely, by providing incentives and subsidies to U.S. drone supply chain and manufacturers, to balance the playing field. Until that happens, unfortunately, public safety agencies will have little incentive to switch out their drone fleets.”

He says that public safety agencies need to stay closely updated on this legislation to understand how it will impact them and the market.

A Complete Made in the USA Drone Force for Public Safety, Anti-Terrorism, and All-Around Payload Purposes

Boston based Plymouth Rock Technologies is one company reimagining detection technologies and taking the ability to detect these threats to the street and from the air. This capability doesn’t stop at terror weapons – the sensors and technologies that are being created by this company have uses across civil and military operations with the purpose of preserving life, and into public safety and day-to-day operational concerns serving a wide range of industries.

Plymouth Rock products, both airborne and land-based, will scan for threat items at more significant “stand-off” distances than current existing technologies. Unique radar imaging and signal processing technology creates new opportunities for remotely operated, nonintrusive screening of crowds in real-time.

Importantly, Plymouth Rock’s drone force hits the sweet spot between low-cost utility and complex, military-grade use. Their rugged design, payload capacity (as much as five times that of competitors) and relative affordability should make them a go-to product for federal, state, and local governments and private companies that must now abandon their China-sourced drones and find a U.S-based alternative.

Thanks to the “Made in the U.S.A” label it can attach to all of its key products, the company is hard at work meeting with government and industry contacts to generate orders for its drones and shoe-scanner technologies.

The threat detection systems market is expected to reach $84 billion by 2022, and PRT has multiple commercial products expected to hit the market in 2021, as well as cutting-edge patented (or patent-pending) intellectual property. Moreover, they offer private-labeling opportunities on their other technologies and X1/MiRIAD Multi-Sensor Drone technology.

Marrying enhancements in existing solutions with these new technologies promises to create a new dawn for public security and give a major market boost for commercial domestic drone technology as well.

Leading companies providing in technology in the threat detection and deterrents markets include:

Synaptics, Incorporated focuses more on the software than the hardware. It is a California-based company that develops human interface hardware and software. The company recently disclosed Synaptics has shifted its focus toward making display drivers and touch controllers for OLED screens, and top smartphone players are already using its solutions in their flagship smartphones. The chipmaker anticipates that another 10 flagship and mid-range smartphones using its OLED touch solutions will hit the market in 2020., including those that are used for biometric security purposes.

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