After China ban, Japan joins open-source drone movement

In 2022, Japan’s government agencies will stop purchasing drones from China to curb potential security risks. Private organizations plan to follow suit. But affordable homegrown options are nonexistent. This is why the leading infrastructure companies are now exploring open-source drone technologies to decrease the cost and complexity of developing new aircraft.

Japan-based Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in terms of revenue. It has been using Chinese drones to inspect critical infrastructure such as telecommunication cables on bridges. But now, NTT plans to swap out those aerial platforms for non-Chinese units before replacements become due.

To that end, NTT has formed a new subsidiary, NTT e-Drone Technology, to manufacture the craft and develop drone solutions in Japan ⁠— not just for itself, but for the broader commercial drone market. The sectors this new subsidiary will tap into will include…