Last Friday, DJI, the world’s leading drone hardware company, was placed on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s “Entity List.” There’s been a great deal of speculation about what this means and how this could impact the market, so let’s break down what we know.
DroneDeploy customers should not be impacted; you can still buy and use DJI drones. DroneDeploy will continue to provide services, and we will continue to be the leading innovator in the drone software space.
For DJI & the Industry
This new order prohibits companies from selling, transferring, or sharing U.S.-origin technology, commodities, and software to DJI, among other restrictions. While this will undoubtedly impact DJI, this will also impact U.S. technology providers who serve as suppliers to DJI.
In the short term, we don't expect a significant impact on the broad availability of DJI drones. However, we will likely see some of their products get updated to remove any use of U.S. components.
Such restrictions may impact the collaboration and innovation among global drone manufacturers, forcing more Chinese hardware into the world’s largest drone manufacturers’ products, limiting opportunities for U.S. companies.
While this order doesn’t reflect any data security concerns, it’s worth noting DroneDeploy is the only drone company to be both ISO27001 and SOC 2 certified. We hold information security to the highest importance, we do not transmit customer data to DJI, and our credentials are readily available.
For the Future
Our customers use drones to make their businesses safer and more efficient. From family-owned farms to the largest seed companies, our software helps growers fully understand their crops, make better-informed decisions, and improve their yields. Construction and energy companies use our software to eliminate hazardous manual inspections, replacing them with safer, more accurate, and more frequent drone-based inspections.
Additionally, drones have helped save over 500 lives from search and rescue efforts in response to avalanches, wildfires, flooding, and more. In California, where DroneDeploy was founded and is headquartered, firefighters used drones to map the 19,000 structures destroyed in the town of Paradise, helping FEMA issue relief payments to the victims in hours rather than weeks.
The addition of DJI to the “Entity List” comes at a time when drones are even more important to business, having proved themselves as the “perfect socially distant worker” across industries.
The drone market has been growing rapidly, with greater hardware competition, more sophisticated software solutions, and enterprise companies deploying drones across the world. The advantages that drones deliver to American companies – both big and small – are beyond significant. We are optimistic that U.S. regulation will continue to enable drone technologies and the businesses that rely on them.