“I estimate that the South American drone market will present a 40% growth per year until 2030”
– Giovani Amianti, XMobots
Learn more at: https://xmobots.com.br
Giovani Amianti, CEO of XMobots
Tell us something about your current position and professional background
Giovani Amianti (XMobots): I´m the CEO at XMobots and my whole professional background was dedicated to the foundation and growth of this company. I am graduated in Mechatronic Engineering (Poli-USP – Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo) and I got my Master’s degree in Avionics.
What is your perspective on the commercial drone market in the next years?
Giovani Amianti (XMobots): In the next 10 years, the drone market (in the world) will grow 26% per year, leveraged by key industries such as Agriculture (34% growth per year), Inspection (30% per year) and Logistics (80% per year). We´re talking about a market worth more than US$ 150 billion in 2030.
I’m afraid the South American drone market is a bit underestimated. Since the daily reality shows a different scenario, I estimate that the South American drone market will present a 40% growth per year until 2030. Considering regulation, we estimate that we will have BVLOS flight permissions in Latin America by using UTM system. In Brazil, we already count on regulations that allow BVLOS flights. However, the flight authorization still faces bureaucratic difficulties, taking at least 18 days for the permission. But considering we can certificate BVLOS drones and can get flight authorization quickly, a UTM system will allow a significant growth of the market until 2025.
Where do you see the Brazilian drone market compared to other countries such as USA, China, or Germany?
Giovani Amianti (XMobots): There are many studies that correlate the Brazilian drone market revenues to the Brazilian GDP, or closer to Latin American GDP. However, you have to consider that Brazil is one of the biggest Agricultural powers in the world and this GDP-based calculus might not be adequate. That´s why our perspective for the drone market in Brazil will present higher growth than other areas such as USA and China, which already present a very mature market.
A clear example is the spraying drones. There are about 1,000 of them in Brazil and over 100,000 in China. Considering the production of each country, Brazil should have 27x more drones, but it is a bit behind in this technological adoption, so that justifies a higher growth in Latin America.
In which industry verticals does your company focus on currently?
Giovani Amianti (XMobots):
- Health Care and Disaster Relief
- Transportation Infrastructure
Why did you choose this industry vertical(s) and what other markets have high potential for drones from your perspective?
Giovani Amianti (XMobots): These industry verticals present a higher demand in drone solutions and all of them present great opportunities to be explored. And for us, the vertical that presents the higher potential is Logistics/ transportation with drones, which is projected to have a 80% growth per year in the next 10 years.
XMobots recently made headlines by becoming the first company in Brazil to be approved for BVLOS flights up to 30km and/or above 400ft above ground level. What else can you tell us about this approval and what are your immediate next steps in order to take advantage of it?
Giovani Amianti (XMobots): In Brazil, we already count on regulation for commercial BVLOS flights and XMobots got the first project approval in 2018 (BVLOS flight – 5km range). And most recently, we got the project approval for BVLOS flights in a 30-km range. And we intend to increase this communication range. This technology opens new opportunities to applications, such as monitoring in assets inspection over power lines, oil pipes or pipelines that require BVLOS flights for long distances.
And because of bureaucracy here in Brazil, it´s not easy to get the permission to fly BVLOS, taking about 18 days for a NOTAM issue. That´s why XMobots and DECEA (Departamento de Controle do Espaço Aéreo) are joining forces in the development of a UTM system, which will make all these processes much easier and quicker, and allowing the Brazilian drone market to escalate.
Another important milestone was the pre-release of your XUTM for air traffic management, how do you envision it developing in Brazil and which important lesson/advice about this project would you have for companies in other countries?
Giovani Amianti (XMobots): A lesson learned during the development of this system is that many UTM developers are thinking in long term (drone operations in urban airspace with a high quantity of aircrafts, under extremely complex operational scenarios).
Our demand here in Brazil was to execute BVLOS flights in remote areas, with a low air traffic and distant from people. And that’s why we developed the XUTM. We proposed a step-by-step plan to DECEA, in which the evolution of the Brazilian UTM is based on experiences in very simple to highly complex scenarios, attending present demands in Agriculture and Inspection.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge in the drone market as a drone manufacturer?
Giovani Amianti (XMobots): The biggest challenge is that Brazil and some other countries present their own regulation over drone flights and this is an issue for XMobots since we intend to escalate our production and sales aiming towards the international market in the near future. A world common regulation would be an ideal scenario in the drone market.
Ed Alvarado holds a Master’s in International Relations, Bachelor’s in Economics & Philosophy, and has lived in 7 countries.