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CES Asia Panel Discussion: Consumers and Businesses Take to the Skies

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【Summary】Three experts from JD.com, DJI, and legal firm Hogan Lovells sat together in panel discussion to share their viewpoints of the trending drone technology.

Original Claire    Jun 09, 2017 11:37 AM PT
CES Asia Panel Discussion: Consumers and Businesses Take to the Skies

Consumer drones are taking off, commercial drones are taking flight, and drone technology is evolving quickly. Is the regulatory framework advancing fast enough to meet market needs? How are developments in software, hardware and standards supporting the safe integration of drones into the airspace? Three experts from JD.com, DJI, and legal firm Hogan Lovells sat together to share their viewpoints of the trending drone technology.

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"We are closely following the drone-related matters in US, Europe and other continental places." Lu Zhou, Counsel of Hogan Lovells said at the panel discussion. She noted that the drone has become a powerful tool in precision agriculture, film and television. In the past two years in China, the Chinese government has already set the tone that the drone industry is a field that the regulators want to focus and promote. Particularly, for drones that can be used for agriculture.

Earlier in January, Chinese vice-minister of Agriculture Zhang Taolin for the first time acknowledged using drones as agricultural machinery. He mentioned that the government will subsidize agricultural drones in suitable pilot regions. DJI as the world's leading drone provider, developed its Agras MG-1, an agricultural drone that can spray an area of 4,000 to 6,000 square meters in just 10 minutes, which is 40 to 60 times faster than manual operations.

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"Our company as the major drone provider, and lived through four phases of transformation." Paul Xu, VP of DJI said at the discussion, he pointed out that DJI used to develop helicopter flight control systems, but gradually expanded its market into the consumer drone field after seeing its potential years ago. Now the company has taken 70% share of the global consumer drone market.

JD drone Architect Xiaolei Cheng also talked about drones being utilized for package deliveries.

"We as the leading e-commerce in China, strive to offer customer the best online shopping experience. Last year we have achieved the delivery of 100 million customers per month. Our drone delivery program wants to integrate the advanced drone technology with our JD assisting logistics and network. We want to drive from the current labor logistics model to a more efficient technology-driven aspect."

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He mentioned that in the past two years, many companies have tested drone delivery and they have tried their best to solve all the problems and make a real drone delivery program. Earlier this week, JD announced plans to develop a drone aircraft capable of carrying cargo weighing a ton or more on long-distance deliveries. The company said it will test the drones on a network it is developing to cover the northern Chinese province of Shaanxi, and will carry consumer goods to remote areas and farm produce to cities. The company started making deliveries to customers using smaller drones in November.

"Drone delivery center has started operation. Just now, at this moment, our drone is taking someone's package, flying in the sky delivering to the customers." Cheng said.

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