DroneDeploy Launches New Cloud-Based Drone Software for Roof Inspection

The solution is designed to enable quick and thorough inspection reports for insurance companies, resulting in faster and more accurate claims processing.

(Image source: DroneDeploy.)

DroneDeploy, a San Francisco-based provider of drone mapping software, has launched a new drone solution for the roofing industry that that automatically generates what the vendor characterizes as accurate and comprehensive roof analytics. The vendor pitches the new solution as giving insurers, roofing and solar energy companies an easy affordable means to inspect and measure roofs with industry-leading accuracy.

Nicholas Pilkington, CTO, DroneDeploy.

DroneDeploy reports that its roofing solution integrates an autonomous 3D Flight App with a roof-specific flight mode and an application that generates PDF roof reports and DXF files. The cloud-based mapping and roof inspection platform allows companies to capture information from multiple houses, and start generating insights immediately, according to the vendor. DroneDeploy says 3D Flight App collects high resolution aerial roof imagery of structural features within 10 minutes. The Roof Report delivers a PDF containing square footage, slope, and other roof features along with DXF files, a file format used for further design, within 4 hours.

“Generating accurate roof reports from aerial data requires state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms and machine learning techniques in the cloud and on mobile devices,” comments Nicholas Pilkington, CTO, DroneDeploy. “DroneDeploy processes millions of images each week to power these algorithms. We’re excited to utilize this volume of data and our expertise in photogrammetry to deliver best-in-class solutions to the toughest problems in industry.”

DroneDeploy claims that its rooftop measurements lead the industry with 99.4 percent relative accuracy (or 1 inch absolute accuracy with GCPs). These results are driven by cutting-edge computer vision algorithms that generate dimensionally-accurate 3D models as well as DJI’s vibration-free drone gimbal that captures oblique images, the vendor says.

Greater Time and Cost Savings

Stephen Applebaum, Managing Partner, Insurance Solutions Group.

“Our customers—from leading solar, electric, and real estate enterprises to drone hobbyists who utilize DJI drones in their daily work—are experiencing incredible ROI with DroneDeploy’s Roofing solution,” comments Jan Gasparic, Head of Enterprise Partnerships, DJI. “When paired with our powerful aerial platforms, this new solution helps achieve greater time and costs savings, improved team efficiency, and accurate data collection. It’s truly redefining an industry where accuracy and safety are equally important—all with just the click of a button.”

Given the efficiencies claimed by DroneDeploy, with its new solution, roofing companies would be able triple the number of estimates and claims their teams can complete in one day, with quicker turnarounds and better information without risk to employee safety. The vendor stresses that the data also enables quick and thorough inspection reports for insurance companies, resulting in faster and more accurate claims processing.

“There are a large and growing number of commercial drone providers offering similar solution to the insurance industry, and the images they provide definitely offer cost and safety benefits, but the really high impact value these companies can offer include national coverage, accurate 3D roof measurements and detailed topography including high-resolution images plus integration with historical roof construction databases, as well as roof damage and replacement cost estimating systems managed through machine learning,” comments Stephen Applebaum, Managing Partner, Insurance Solutions Group. “Accurate virtual roof damage assessment is the future of property claims.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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