The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the rapid emergence and widespread adoption of game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision, sensor technologies, and machine learning techniques, and growing importance of technologies such as LIDAR, radar systems, ultrasonic systems, global positioning system (GPS) and global navigation satellite system (GNSS). Drone anti-collision systems use wireless communication technologies, such as Wi-Fi or radio links to enable drones exchange information with other drones or ground control stations to communicate and coordinate their movements to avoid collisions. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Artificial Intelligence: Drone anti-collision systems. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, finite element simulation, ML-enabled blockchain networks and generative adverserial network (GAN) are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Demand forecasting applications, intelligent embedded systems, and deep reinforcement learning are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are wearable physiological monitors and smart lighting, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the technology industry

Drone anti-collision systems is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Drone anti-collision systems are specifically developed to identify and prevent collisions between drones and objects like buildings, trees, people, power lines and other drones. These systems utilise a range of technologies including GPS, sensors, computer vision, and radio-based systems to detect and monitor objects surrounding the drone. The collected information is then utilised to determine the optimal path for the drone, ensuring collision avoidance and safe navigation.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 120+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of drone anti-collision systems.

Key players in drone anti-collision systems – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to drone anti-collision systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
SZ DJI Technology 386 Unlock Company Profile
Walmart 166 Unlock Company Profile 165 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 158 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 106 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 100 Unlock Company Profile
Wing Aviation 73 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 69 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 68 Unlock Company Profile
United Parcel Service 64 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 59 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 56 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 46 Unlock Company Profile
GeoFrenzy 45 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou Xaircraft Technology 43 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 43 Unlock Company Profile
Tevel Aerobotics Technologies 43 Unlock Company Profile
Verizon Patent And Licensing 41 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 40 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 37 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 37 Unlock Company Profile
Pictometry International 36 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 35 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 34 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 32 Unlock Company Profile
Proxy Technologies 31 Unlock Company Profile
GoPro 29 Unlock Company Profile
ETAK Systems 28 Unlock Company Profile
KDDI 27 Unlock Company Profile
Lockheed Martin 27 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 25 Unlock Company Profile
AeroVironment 25 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 25 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 24 Unlock Company Profile
BAE Systems 24 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 23 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsche Telekom 23 Unlock Company Profile
Rakuten Group 21 Unlock Company Profile
Alarmcom 19 Unlock Company Profile
Here 19 Unlock Company Profile
Deere 19 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 18 Unlock Company Profile
Autel Robotics USA 18 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 18 Unlock Company Profile
Subaru 16 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 15 Unlock Company Profile
Kespry 15 Unlock Company Profile
TerraClear 14 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 14 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 13 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

SZ DJI Technology is a leading patent filer in drone anti-collision systems. The company’s patents are aimed at invention describing method and apparatus of prompting position of aerial vehicle. The method may include, obtaining first position information of the aerial vehicle and second position information of a ground end; and presenting a relative position relationship between the aerial vehicle and the ground end on a preset map according to the first position information and the second position information.

Flight status including flight position and other suitable information of an aerial vehicle may therefore be directly provided.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Walmart and

By geographic reach, Halliburton leads the pack, followed by Tevel Aerobotics Technologies and MinebeaMitsumi. In terms of application diversity, PRENAV holds the top position, followed by Alarmcom and BlueHalo.

Drone anti-collision systems ensure safe and efficient operations by mitigating the risk of mid-air collisions, safeguarding both the drones themselves and the surrounding airspace. These systems not only enhance the overall safety of drone operations but also enable the widespread integration of drones into various industries, such as aerial photography, package delivery, and infrastructure inspection, unlocking their full potential for economic and societal benefits.

To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Thematic Intelligence.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.