San Francisco-based Airware has announced the release of its operating system for commercial drones, the Aerial Information Platform (AIP); its first large enterprise customer, GE; and an investment from Intel.
The Airware AIP combines hardware, software and cloud services to enable enterprises to safely operate drones at scale, comply with regulatory and insurance requirements, and rapidly develop industry-specific drone solutions.
According to the company, the platform helps companies capture and analyze valuable aerial data for a wide variety of commercial applications. Airware adds that the easy-to-use platform requires minimal training and enables sophisticated autonomous flight with geofencing and contingency management features.
The AIP will offer aircraft fleet management, user authentication, data management, and the ability to integrate workflows and data with existing business systems, including enterprise resource planning, geographic information systems and asset management.
GE will become Airware’s first large enterprise customer, and Airware says it will work with GE on a variety of commercial drone applications. GE Ventures made an investment in the company in November. Airware has also just received an undisclosed investment from Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment arm. Intel manufactures some of the high-performance, low-power processors that will power part of the AIP.
Airware says its platform has also been in use by a number of drone manufacturers and service providers from around the world as part of Airware’s beta program, including Delta Drone (France), Altavian (Florida), Allied Drones (California) and Drone America (Nevada). Now, the AIP is available to additional, qualified drone manufacturers.
Airware is releasing the first three components of its AIP: Flight Core, which includes on-aircraft hardware and software enabling autonomous flight; Ground Control Station Software for aircraft flight planning, control and monitoring; and Configuration Manager, software that enables operators to quickly configure Airware and third-party hardware and software for use across a variety of aircraft and applications.
Additionally, in the coming months, Airware will enhance the AIP by releasing Airware Cloud, a suite of cloud features that will give operators the ability to plan and manage flight operations at greater scale; manage internal and external approvals; meet insurance, corporate and government compliance requirements; analyze sensor data; and share information across their organization.
This summer, the Airware App Core will further enhance the capabilities of the AIP by enabling additional customization of hardware and software on Airware-powered drones. App Core will power image processing, advanced path planning, vision-based navigation, obstacle avoidance and real-time decision making and will enable virtually any hardware to be made Airware-compatible, including LiDAR, multispectral cameras, thermal sensors, still and video cameras, gimbals, and more.
Airware’s AIP is available by subscription, which includes hardware, software, cloud services and support.