Honeywell Launches Unmanned Drone Software Business

Sometime in the next decade, analysts project that the hardware and software market for urban air taxis, drone cargo delivery, and other drone businesses will reach $120 billion.

Honeywell International Inc, a major supplier of aerospace products, said Monday it launched an unmanned aerial systems business to bet on the autonomous aviation space – drones, air taxis, and unmanned cargo delivery vehicles, according to

Stéphane Fymat, director of the division, said Honeywell’s market opportunity would be about 20% of that $120 billion. He declined to say how much of that market Honeywell was seeks to capture, but the unit has hundreds of employees, including engineers.

Honeywell provides autonomous flight control systems and aviation electronics for the drones. While drone delivery systems have been in the planning stages form quite awhile by Amazon and others, the world changed with the COVID-19 virus and that simply accelerated the need, and thus Honeywell isn’t wasting any time with its approach.

“We’re not trying to bet on who’s going to have the best drone. We want to sell to everyone’s drones,” said Murray Grainger, head of Honeywell Ventures.

Some of Honeywell’s customers include Intel-backed Volocopter, Slovenia-based small aircraft maker Pipistrel, which is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft for cargo delivery, and UK-based Vertical Aerospace, which has test flown a prototype vehicle last year that can carry 250 kilograms and fly at 80 kilometers an hour.

According to a story on, Honeywell is speeding up its cargo delivery program to meet increased demand due to the impact of COVID-19.