Hartford, Connecticut-based drone manufacturer Aquiline Drones is the first in the U.S. to establish its own insurance subsidiary. (Photo: Aquiline Drones)
Aquiline Drones Corporation, based in Hartford, Connecticut, has become the first drone manufacturer in the U.S. to create its own insurance subsidiary (ADIC). Barry Alexander, Founder and CEO of Aquiline Drones (AD), stated in the company’s announcement, “Our goal is to introduce various aspects of safety at every level and opportunity in a UAV/drone operations environment, for every drone business or individual operator, in keeping them safe and compliant as well as protecting the interest of the general public.”
AD was established in January 2019 after four years in incubation. The recent creation of ADIC serves to meet the parent company’s various risk management needs and to help ensure AD’s profitability by providing tax advantages. With this insurance license, AD can assume the risk of all of its companies and insure its partners and affiliates. Additionally, this development allows AD to indemnify its product and service offerings as well as the products used by the company’s professional drone service providers across the country.
Aquiline Drones' Spartacus MAX (Photo: Aquiline Drones)
Benefits resulting from the newly formed captive insurance company include “writing insurance policies to cover multiple lines of commercial UAV/drone operations which are based on AD’s definitive risk mitigation and management protocols,” according to the press release. These operations range from drone manufacturing and safety training to cloud-connected drone operations.
In an interview conducted via email, Aquiline Drones founder Barry Alexander told Avionics International that the company is set to achieve several milestones in 2022. The first of their goals is “to establish the AD Drone and Cloud Technology Ecosystem as the national de facto standard for advanced commercial drone operations and UAV mission management applications.” Second, he expects Aquiline Drones’ IPO to take place by mid-summer. Third, by March, two strategic acquisitions that are currently underway will be announced. Another priority this year: “Making Aquiline Drones Indemnity Corporation the national standard for commercial drone liability insurance—products and services,” said Alexander.
Pictured: CEO Barry Alexander, who founded Aquiline Drones in January 2019 after a four-year incubation phase (Photo: Aquiline Drones)
AD announced a partnership in December 2020 with Drone Volt, a publicly-traded French drone manufacturer. Just a few months later, they acquired 50% of UAS manufacturer AerialTronics from Drone Volt, a $9 million purchase. AD next acquired ElluminAi Labs in September 2021 in order to support further development of the Spartacus AI framework. In the same month, the company announced a teaming agreement with AWARE—an incident response platform that enhances situational awareness in a crisis—“to enhance the ability to comprehensively respond to any emergency incident,” Alexander commented.
The most common applications for AD’s drones include search and rescue, law enforcement, asset inspections, fighting fires, and perimeter security, according to Alexander. In the coming years, he predicts “a more rapid adoption of drone services in areas and applications that have greater societal impacts such as life-saving scenarios and other areas where danger to man is minimized, such as first-responder services—i.e., law enforcement, firefighting, EMS, and search and rescue.”
On Jan. 12, Aquiline Drones announced a strategic partnership with AWARE—a cloud-based suite of technologies made for first responders. In this new collaboration, AWARE's Smart Response Software will extend to AD's Spartacus drones and its cloud-based cognitive AI services as part of an end-to-end SaaS platform. According to the announcement, the real-time control and dynamic decision-making capabilities "will help firefighters, police officers and EMTs assess the situation, deploy necessary resources and determine their life-saving course of action in real time before, during, and after an emergency event."
In another emailed Q&A with Barry Alexander, he explained why the AWARE platform, in particular, was selected: "Drone video, even with AD's AI capabilities, only provides half of the data urgently needed by responders during an incident. Combining our drone video data, including AI overlays with Aware voice data and its voice AI, significantly enables better responder awareness. And then additionally, combining video AI with voice AI opens the door for even more sophisticated cognitive systems that further enhance responder awareness through advanced alerts and warnings that would be missed by humans."
Spartacus drones armed with AWARE can fulfill missions including delivery of emergency supplies, search and rescue, disaster management, law enforcement, and site assessment. (Photo: Aquiline Drones)
He told Avionics in an emailed statement that AD's hopes with this partnership are to increase safety for responders and enhance their ability to save lives and respond to other emergency situations. In the future, the combination of AD's drones armed with the AWARE platform could be used for applications such as "military, large-scale entertainment events/venues, and global humanitarian missions," Alexander says.