Welcome to this week’s AutonoMusings!
The most surprising autonomy news this week was drone software startup Airware’s decision to shut down
. Just a few days ago, the company announced a new Tokyo office and partnership with Mitsubishi.
Airware went through a number of incarnations during its 7-year run, starting as an autopilot company, then building their own drone hardware, before refocusing on software services. Despite $118M in funding, Airware never found product market fit.
There were many factors in Airware’s demise. A major one is that drone technology evolved very quickly while FAA regulation moved very slowly. By the time Airware could have legally scaled US operations, the underlying technology was already highly commoditized largely due to DJI’s success with consumer drones.
That’s a hard position for a startup, however well-funded.