Hyundai Motor Co. is teaming up with Boston, Massachusetts-based Top Flight Technologies Inc. to accelerate commercial applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including cargo transport, inspection services, and surveillance missions for industrial sites.

Top Flight’s hybrid gasoline-electric power system gives its Airborg H8 10K UAV more than 2 hours flight time with a 4kg payload. The company’s scalable UAV solutions include a 3D, real-time simulation environment and fleet management system that provides product development tools and a remote-location console that can simultaneously operate multiple UAVs.

Hyundai seeks to enhance its existing operations with the application of drone products and technologies, particularly through high-definition (HD) mapping and operations and management services. 

Army tests autonomous Sikorsky helicopter

Sikorsky is developing autonomous and optionally-piloted vehicle (OPV) technology to decrease instances of the leading cause of helicopter crashes – controlled flight into terrain (CFIT).

U.S. Army pilots tested an OPV to demonstrate technology developed by Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The flights marked the first time that non-Sikorsky pilots operated the modified S-76B commercial helicopter as an OPV.

The helicopter, which has more than 300 hours of autonomous flight, demonstrated capabilities developed in the third phase of DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program. Sikorsky’s MATRIX technology autonomous software and hardware executed automated takeoff and landing, obstacle avoidance, automatic landing zone selection, and contour flight.

Sikorsky also is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify its autonomous hardware and software to make it available to commercial and military aircraft for flight with reduced or zero crew.

Military UAS market worth $26.8 billion by 2025

MarketsandMarkets projects the military drone market to grow from $12.1 billion in 2018 to $26.8 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%.

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are gaining popularity for inspection, monitoring, surveying, mapping, and remote sensing, along with supplying troops. Increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition (ISRT) applications and combat operations also is expected to drive global growth.

Delivery and transportation applications are projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.