Auterion and NTT e-Drone Technology announce strategic alliance

July 20, 2021

Building a comprehensive partnership to produce next-generation drones that transform smart farming and infrastructure management

We are pleased to announce a strategic alliance with NTT e-Drone Technology to accelerate drone use that helps tackle major social problems. Together, our companies will drive the development, manufacturing, operation, and sales of next-generation drone fleets. These software-defined drone fleets will enable life-changing smart farming and infrastructure management.      

Scaling the world’s most advanced open ecosystem drones

Lorenz Meier, co-founder and CEO of Auterion explained, “Through our strategic alliance with NTT e-Drone, various Japanese companies and regional governments, especially those  concerned with national security, can easily access Auterion’s ecosystem of the world’s most advanced open source platforms for drones. By combining that ecosystem with the 5G, AI, and edge cloud ICT services promoted by the NTT Group, we will be able to provide customers with new value and integrated capabilities never before seen on the market.”

NTT e-Drone will produce Auterion Skynode based Flight controller and Mission computer in Japan

NTT e-Drone will produce Skynode based Flight controller and Mission computer, a drone control device developed and provided by Auterion, in Japan. In the future, it will be optimally installed in next-generation drones developed by NTT e-Drone that have functions such as LTE,5G support, remote control, and autonomous navigation, and will be expanded to drone manufacturers who desire Skynode based products made in Japan.

NTT e-Drone will operate Auterion Suite on a server in Japan

NTT e-Drone operates Suite, a drone operation management system developed and provided by Auterion, on a server in Japan. Furthermore, NTT e-Drone will accelerate the social implementation of drones in fields such as agriculture, inspection, surveying, and disaster countermeasures by adding functions for the Japanese market.

Development cooperation for advanced drones with 5G support, remote control, and autonomous navigation function

Toward the advancement of functions required for next-generation drones, we will bring each other’s development resources and market needs together and steadily promote the development necessary for social implementation of drones.

Cross-selling of both UAV

NTT e-Drone will deploy Vector made by Quantum Systems and Vesper made by Vantage Robotics equipped with Auterion’s technology in Japan. In the future, Auterion will also handle next-generation drones similarly equipped with Auterion software, which are being developed by NTT e-Drone.

Hiroshi Tanabe, President of NTT e-Drone Technology, said, “The partnership with Auterion is indispensable to our mission of ‘realizing the social implementation of drones that contribute to solving social issues.’ We also expect to access markets other than Japan’s and work with Auterion to realize next-generation drones that place the highest priority on drone safety and reliability.”

Atsuko Oka, Senior Vice President, Head of Technology Planning, NTT , said, “We will promote the introduction and implementation of new technologies from NTT laboratories and partner companies. Additionally, we will conduct planning and execution of disaster countermeasures, security, and efficient procurement of facilities. In these efforts, development and utilization of safe and secure drones is an especially important issue. This strategic alliance between Auterion and NTT e-Drone is expected to accelerate the resolution of this issue, and we would like to support them.”

Drone Fleets to Accelerate Smart Farming and Advance Food Self-Sufficiency 

By responding to needs within the Japanese market, NTT e-Drone will accelerate the social implementation of drones in fields such as agriculture, inspection, surveying, and disaster countermeasures.

The partnership’s software-defined drones using NTT’s network will enable Japan’s agriculture and climate experts to examine data and provide analysis and advice to farmers in real-time, even in the most remote areas. 

“Experts who can relay best practices and troubleshoot urgent issues for rural farmers, without the need for time-consuming travel over great distances, will help those farmers increase yields,” said Lorenz Meier, co-founder and CEO of Auterion. “With widespread deployment of smart farming drone fleets, Japan may even surpass its 45% food sustainability goal in the next few years.”   

Real-Time Data in Inspections Means Safer Aging Infrastructure

“The comprehensive business alliance between Auterion and NTT e-Drone will advance the use of drones in infrastructure inspections and surveying across industries, delivering, for example, real-time status updates on roads and bridges,” continued Meier, “the automation of infrastructure inspection with scalable drone fleets in Japan is a major step in achieving scaled, data-driven management of critical infrastructure that fixes what’s broken.” He continued, “While you cannot have 10,000 expert infrastructure inspectors in the field, you can have 10,000 drones delivering data in real-time to a handful of experts in the office using powerful analysis software. The end result is more efficient, expansive and safer physical spaces per the vision laid out in Japan’s Society 5.0.”

About NTT e-Drone Technology

NTT e-Drone Technology is a company that develops, manufactures and provides solutions for corporate drones, which started its business in February 2021. As a member of the NTT Group*, we have strengths in integrating ICT services such as 5G, AI, and cloud with drones. Focusing on the development and manufacture of drones for the agricultural field, where the utilization of drones is most advanced in Japan, we plan to provide services using drones for disaster countermeasures, inspections, surveying, and the public.

* NTT Group is a leading company in the telecommunications business. Utilizing the customer base and expertise  related to communication networks and ICT that we have cultivated so far, we are expanding our business in a wide range of domestic and overseas markets. 

Please visit here for more details.

About Auterion

Auterion provides enterprise and government with an ecosystem of software-defined drones, payloads, and third-party applications within a single, easy-to-use platform based on open-source standards. The platform gives operators greater choice, flexibility, and assurance, to improve their drone workflows, from mapping to inspection, cargo, and ISR. With 70+ employees across offices in California, Switzerland, and Germany, Auterion’s global customer base includes GE Aviation, Quantum Systems, Freefly Systems, Avy, and the U.S. Government.