Aerospace giant Honeywell International said Monday it has established an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business unit to leverage the growing market in autonomous aviation, which includes drones, air fares, and unmanned freight delivery vehicles.
Stéphane Fymat, head of this new business, said Honeywell anticipates the hardware and applications market for urban air taxis, drone cargo delivery, and other drone companies to reach $120 billion by 2030 and stated that Honeywell’s market opportunity would be approximately 20% of that sum. He declined to say just how much of that market Honeywell was targeting, including only that the device has hundreds of workers that have many engineers.
The coronavirus pandemic has produced a surge of interest in drone deliveries, also Fymat said it is accelerating the drone cargo delivery programs of a number of Honeywell’s partners. One of these are Intel-backed Volocopter; Slovenia-based little aircraft maker Pipistrel, which is developing an electrical vertical take-off and landing aircraft for freight delivery; and UK-based Vertical Aerospace, which includes test-flown a prototype vehicle that could carry 250 kg and fly at 80 km/hour.
Honeywell doesn’t build drones itself but supplies autonomous flight controls systems and aviation electronics and will develop new services and products uniquely required for these markets. It is going to also act as a systems integrator for all Honeywell products and services that could be used within this business, including hybrid-electric propulsion and thermal control, flight services such as unmanned air traffic management, and ground operations services such as predictive aircraft care analytics. The organization’s corporate venture capital arm has also spent in Southern California’s AirMap, an unmanned air traffic management system for GoPro Karma drone , and Switzerland-based Daedalean, which develops autonomous flight controls.