November 16, 2020

U.S. Autonomous Drone Maker Skydio Grows Momentum in Japan’s enterprise Market With High Profile Customers

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Skydio 2 Drone bridge inspection

Customers include telecommunications giant NTT DOCOMO, NTT West subsidiary Japan Infra Waymark and leading drone services provider FLIGHTS

TOKYO — November 16, 2020 — Skydio, the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight technology, today announced it is seeing rapid adoption of its solution in the Japanese market with several enterprise customers, including telecommunications giant NTT DOCOMO, NTT West subsidiary Japan Infra Waymark, and drone services provider FLIGHTS. This news comes quickly on the heels of Skydio’s recent announcement of the establishment of their first international office and subsidiary, Skydio Japan. As demand for Skydio products grows across the world, the company plans to expand its presence into additional countries in the Asia Pacific region next year.

“We are excited to see such quick traction in Japan, and look forward to increasing our investment in the broader region next year” said Tom Moss, CEO of Skydio’s subsidiary for the region, Skydio JAPAC.

Japan Infra Waymark (JIW) is a spin-out from NTT West that is tasked with helping to pioneer new solutions to inspect the tremendous amount of aging infrastructure in Japan, which is going through a rapid population decline. Drones are powerful and cost effective tools for inspection, and autonomy is the key to deploying these solutions for safe and reliable operation. JIW has already purchased several hundred Skydio 2 drones, using them in hundreds of infrastructure inspection projects across Japan.

“In 2019, we traveled all over the world, meeting with all of the top drone companies, and immediately recognized Skydio 2 as the most advanced drone for use in infrastructure inspection thanks to it’s unique autonomous capabilities” said Takumi Shibata, CEO of JIW.

Separately, NTT DOCOMO (DOCOMO), the mobile telecommunications giant who previously invested in Skydio as part of the company’s series C round of fundraising, has selected Skydio as the drone provider for DOCOMO’s recently launched drone management solution called docomo sky®.The solution provides a comprehensive platform for managing drone operations across the country.

“Skydio’s advanced autonomy is unparalleled, and I am excited to bring these revolutionary drones to the Japanese enterprise market. Together with docomo sky®, Skydio drones will reduce the stress of drone pilots and help them to better focus on the work they must do. Moreover, we are excited about fully autonomous workflows in the future which will help to solve social issues in Japan,” said Hisakazu Tsuboya, Senior Vice President, General Manager of 5G & IoT Business Department.

“I still remember feeling amazed the first time I encountered the autonomy technology of Skydio and was convinced that their core technology is indispensable for the safe and efficient enterprise use of drones,” said Mr. Takashi Hara, President of NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc. who led the investment into Skydio.

Skydio additionally announced that FLIGHTS, a leading drone services provider, is planning on using Skydio drones in a wide number of inspection and mapping missions across several industry verticals.

“Skydio’s solution will allow drone missions to be undertaken more safely, more efficiently, and at a lower cost than with any other drone,” said FLIGHTS CEO Shuhei Taoshita. “We believe that Skydio will catalyze a significant expansion of commercial drone usage in Japan.”

These customers represent a powerful validation of the value of Skydio’s autonomous drone solutions. Skydio Autonomy is the AI-powered brain built into every Skydio drone, which enables a breakthrough flight experience and can be extended to perform end to end automation of complex workflows. These solutions enable Skydio drones to fly themselves with the skills of an expert pilot or serve as an expert copilot, with 360° obstacle avoidance, even in GPS-denied environments.

Building upon the success of its popular Skydio 2 (S2), Skydio plans to introduce X2E in Japan in the next fiscal year. X2E pairs breakthrough autonomy software with a rugged, foldable airframe for easy “pack and go” transportation, and up to 35 minutes of flight time. X2E is equipped with six 4K navigation cameras for 360° obstacle avoidance and a dual sensor payload that includes a 12MP color camera and a 320x256 FLIR® thermal sensor. From situational awareness and asset inspection to security and patrol use cases, X2E enables enterprises, first responders, and civilian agencies to ramp their drone fleets with minimal training. Designed, assembled, and supported in the USA, X2E provides a higher degree of supply chain security.

Skydio Japan is located in Minato-Ku, Tokyo.

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About Skydio

Skydio is the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight. Skydio leverages breakthrough AI to create the world’s most intelligent flying machines for use by consumer, enterprise, and government customers. Founded in 2014, Skydio is made up of leading experts in AI, robotics, cameras, and electric vehicles from top companies, research labs, and universities from around the world. Skydio designs, assembles, and supports its products in the U.S. from its headquarters in Redwood City, CA, to offer the highest standards of supply chain and manufacturing security. Skydio is trusted by leading enterprises across a wide range of industry sectors and is backed by top investors and strategic partners including Andreessen Horowitz, Levitate Capital, Next47, IVP, Playground, and NVIDIA.


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