Sony Jumps into Drone Business for Enterprises

The drones are officially taking over. Not content to cede the market for autonomous vehicles to Amazon and Google, Sony announced today that it is launching a joint venture to design and build drones for enterprise clients.

The project is being led by Sony Mobile Communications, SonyEUs mobile phone and device subsidiary, in collaboration with ZMP, another Japanese company focused on automotive and robotic design. Sony said it would be taking a controlling stake in the venture, with a 50.005 percent share.

The new company, which will be called Aerosense, will be incorporated next month with 200 million yen ($1.6 million). Aerosense will focus on enterprise solutions using autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles for image capture combined with cloud-based data processing, according to a blog post by Sony Mobile.

Corporate Drones

The new company will leverage SonyEUs camera, sensing, telecommunications network, and robotics technologies in combination with ZMPEUs automated driving and robotics technologies. The new company will be tasked with developing drone platforms that meet the needs of enterprise clients, including measuring, surveying, observing, and inspecting. Sony said the new company aims to roll out these services for enterprise customers beginning in 2016.

EUSony Mobile is proactively engaging in new business creation initiatives, with a particular focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) sector,EU the company said in its blog post. EUThis joint venture represents a part of this push into IoT, as Sony strives to provide its customers with additional value by developing and managing total package cloud solutions.EU

Neither Sony nor ZMP has ever worked extensively in drone vehicles. ZMP has focused primarily on robotics, in particular automated driving technology. Nevertheless, the same technology behind the companyEUs autonomous driving solutions could be put to use in AerosenseEUs flying drones. Like Sony and ZMP, Aerosense will be headquartered in Japan.

Money in the Cloud

Sony didn't specify...

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