Drone Life News – Drone Delivery Service Provider, DroneUp acquires AirMap, New eVTOL Aircraft
com. Now many of you know her as the editor in chief. Many of you know her as a skilled businesswoman, and many of you now know her with a new beautiful haircut miriam. How are you doing? Thank you so much. Thank you so much. We are doing great this week, um getting ready for the holidays, its getting cold here in new england snow tomorrow, tis the season tis the season to be jolly uh. Well, the weather here in new mexico is uh in the morning its winter and in the well late morning lunchtime its spring afternoon summer and then right back to winter in the evening. So if youre not used to layers well, you got to get used to them. If you live here, thats for sure but miriam, i know weve got a lot of big news uh this week and some very surprising, albeit unique news as well as theres one company who is partially using uh, our name in a vast majority of theirs uh. That is doing uh, walmarts drone delivery and it seems like they have acquired a company, a company that has had a very interesting and uh pejorative nickname for a very long time. But what are we talking about here? Miriam Music, so in kind of stunning news, drone services, company drone up, has acquired air map and uh air map. Uh is a household name in the drone industry been around for a long time was one of the first airspace intelligence platforms offered to pilots and since kind of evolved into the utm space of recent years.
So we havent heard much from air map. As you know, we discussed on this show something weird happened a few months ago and they mysteriously fell off of the faas approved list of lance providers reached out to the company. Didnt get a response back. They are now actually back on the fa approved list of providers, but it looks like there was a reason that they were operating under radio silence. Im sure this was in the works, so what this is is drone up for those who are not familiar with. It is a drone services company. They have a network of pilots um. They have proprietary software that they use to communicate with those pilots about jobs. They have very strict training protocols, they have a lot of agreements with state governments to be their kind of emergency response, uh, drone team – and this year they had a large investment from walmart, and so they are a significant partner for walmart drone delivery and they have Currently built out three walmart drone delivery hubs: theyre the only provider that has a multi site operation going in arkansas to start walmarts kind of drone delivery program. Going so looks like they intend to incorporate the air map software into their existing proprietary software that they use with their pilots. They have said tom walker, whos. The ceo of drone up has said that he is committed to um keeping airmap available to the rest of the drone industry too, so they dont intend to kind of keep it all for themselves.
It will still be available for other parties in the drone industry to use but really surprising, to see an air map acquired by um, another company very surprising, indeed miriam as isnt this, the same company that also started noflyzone.org and allowed residents to create no fly zones. For the faa, through their system, is this also the same company that was utilizing user data and selling it uh for other nefarious purposes? I am not sure, but i think we both know the answer to that question and im gon na leave my negative comments right. There so i never wrote about that. Actually, i have to say ill well have to talk about this offline, because some of that i didnt hear about theyre on different sites than you are yeah. There is a reason that they were called aircraft for a very long time so, but that said very interesting news nonetheless uh and its also very interesting to see uh where drone up saw the value in all of that and whatnot i mean it seems like theres Still a lot of missing pieces kind of to this news story. Yeah, i think it itll evolve, um as it seemed, but there really is a lot of work. Thats gone into air maps, utm platform and thats kind of the traffic management platform that theyre using internationally, and i think that that may be at least a large part of the capabilities that drone up is interested in very interesting.
Indeed, i mean it seems like were going to hear more about this uh in the future, but uh. I also want to say you know when it comes to drone ups. Drone delivery. I know, based from instagram that theyre working with watts innovations which has been a company that weve had on the podcast multiple times talking about well theyre, really the only i would say domestic manufacturer who has been able to scale and deliver a very viable drone platform. Thats used for a wide variety of reasons and bobby watts. It is really cool to see how such a small company has grown so rapidly to provide such a reliable and phenomenal drone platform uh. So you know, i have a feeling miriam that this particular story is. Is gon na be something that we keep hearing about over and over and the evolution will continue. I agree, and you know paul really when it comes right down to it. This story is about scale. So what you and i have talked about this you know walmart – is the retailer that can do it. They have their customer close to their supply ill say it again. You know, 90 of the us population lives within 10 miles of a walmart. That is makes it perfect for drone delivery when youre talking about having your customers near to your supply, and so with the walmart. You know systems and the walmart resources behind them, getting together the software kind of a best of breed approach and taking the capabilities that they need into their own pilot platform for drone up.
This is really all about being able to scale as soon as bvlos operations become available to them. Yeah very yeah, its fascinating frankly, uh very, very, very interesting. You know its also interesting too, as weve talked about on this show many times that walmarts advantage. Just like you said, is the proximity of having established hubs and distribution centers across the united states, which has taken you know two to three decades to build out and they really have the winning formula to overcome amazon and, in the wake of all of the the Problems i dont know about you but im, just speaking empirically here, all the problems going on with amazon, the third party sellers, the third party sellers, the international third party sellers – is really what i mean to say has caused so many issues in reliability with amazon. It really makes you wonder who is going to be the king of the online retailer and uh its just fascinating how this is all heating up? It really is – and i think the other interesting thing about this story is that when you, when you think about the way drone up and walmart, have approached to drone delivery compared to the way places like amazon have approached drone delivery. You know amazon got started so early, they started to develop their own aircraft now. Developing a drone, as we all know, is no joke its, not easy um, whereas the approach that both drone up and walmart are taking is saying, okay, you know, weve got the pilot network and the drone services thing completely down walmart.
You know how to deal with your inventory and you know, delivery and that end of things bobby watts, youve got the drones. You know theyre bringing in new software capabilities. So, as you know, tom walker again told drone life for this announcement. You know were going aggressively after what we consider to be the best in the industry in order to put together a whole solution that will scale that works right out of the box and will scale, and i think, frankly, its an approach. Thats just been proven to be really effective, like you, dont try to do everything yourself, yeah yeah. I mean this is a big lesson of becoming a truly successful entrepreneur. Is the the power of delegation and overcoming the emotional aspects of wanting to control it all. You know so look at howard, hughes, thats. The perfect example of the spruce goose he was unable to delegate and literally the spruce goose couldnt take flight. You know so i mean its the perfect example as far as aviation is concerned, but moving on to our next piece of news, you know vtol aircraft, its been another uh. Another kind of theme in the news shows here miriam talking about the dronut, which unfortunately, will not deliver a doughnut to my office, but does look very interesting uh. But it looks like a new vtol. Drone is getting an faa airworthiness certificate and it just happens to be that the drones name is also archer.
Is that right, Music, its true the companys name is archer, and you know this is really again its been sort of non stop e vehicle uh this year. In terms of news thats, definitely a major major theme that were seeing, and so this is another one where they were given. A special airworthiness certificate by the faa means they can engage in testing and i think that one of the things that im finding really interesting as all of these stories come across my desk and, of course i you know, i cant publish all of them. But one thing that im seeing that really stands out paul is the timeline is much shorter than you think. So the timeline for these evital aircraft is not 30 years from now. Its really most of these companies are looking at having something in the air and commercially available, much much much sooner than that even steve dixon at um. I dont know if it was commercial, uav or avsi. One of those steve dixon stood up and said you know we are planning for urban air mobility and things within the next five years or so so, really, both regulators and vehicle companies are prepared for a pretty short timeline on these evital aerial vehicles and what that Has to do with drones too, i will say this is that a lot of these are designed to be crude, but many of them are designed to be crewed at first and then uncrewed as regulations and so forth.
Allow so i think that we will see crude ev tall vehicles in the air pretty soon and then uncrewed, maybe down the line when you talk about in china and overseas youre, going to see uncrewed evital in the air very soon. So for those of us who may not understand crude and uncrewed, how would you define them so uh, whether or not you have a pilot in the seat in the aircraft? So is it just me and the guy piloting, um the aircraft or the person piloting the aircraft? Is you know somewhere off in the distance or is the person operating that aircraft in the seat next to me in the in the aircraft, and i think that most of the prototypes that im seeing other than ehang – and i will say ehang is – is um primarily Unmanned systems do have a seat for the pilot, at least to begin with, but the equipment on board designed to allow for autonomy in the future yeah very, very, very interesting um, you know: do you remember the old double 07 uh back when i think roger moore Was double 07 and he was skiing and he had that blow up. Yes, balloon yeah, yeah yeah this, whoever okay in deamness, i hope youre hearing this and you im gon na charge 10 for this okay. But you guys need to create a little. You know deployable uh parachute. That also is like an inflatable ball that goes around this drone.
So if it crashes, we just go for a good bouncy ride. You know absolutely it seems to me, like i have seen so many you know so much drone technology on old, like double o seven films when they thought it was just gon na be special effects. Well, you know whats so funny is. I just watched the new double 07 and uh literally the night before i was like, i want to invent a a plane that goes into a boat and vice versa, sure enough right on double seven there it is. I was like damn it and whats funny is. I have a friend who collects old cars and he brought out this like 1950s amphibious car, its like a big old sedan, and it has this little propeller on the back and you drove it right into the lake and it goes. I want one of them. I do too i do they had them in the 50s. I do too. Oh man wow well theres a it seems like the future is endless as far as innovation is concerned, so, but miriam thank you again for uh for joining me. As always, i do appreciate the ability to do this with you and uh its always fun, because theres always some new evolution of something going on and its good to keep the finger on the pulse of the industry. So i just want to say from the bottom of my heart. Thank you thank you for having me its always fun to be here all right, guys.
Well, that is going to do it for us today. Dont forget to let us know what you think uh, unless youre worried about how much we smile. If you think we smile too much. I have a term for you that we use in the office all the time its gfy and it means were grateful for you.