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The global commercial drone market size was valued at USD 6.51 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 8.15 billion in 2022 to USD 47.38 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 28.58% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with commercial drone experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 27.39% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
A drone is a flying computer that includes a sensor and camera. It is also referred to as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Various industries are investing in drone technology and paying close attention to expanding their awareness of commercial applications, which is expected to boost the business outlook. To address the need for drone portfolios, such as surveying, air taxis, logistics, surveillance, monitoring, and mapping, several firms are investing in new start-ups through well-funded strategic techniques.
COVID-19 Pandemic Led to Growing Demand for Commercial Drones for Healthcare Applications
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a global catastrophe, with government agencies making strenuous efforts to improve health facilities, hospital infrastructure, and basic medical facilities around the world. Recently, many industries around the world have started using drones to perform important operations successfully. Major companies are involved in designing and developing lightweight drones for various commercial applications such as medical emergency transportation, inspection & maintenance, filming & photography, mapping & surveying, surveillance & monitoring, and precision agriculture. Amongst these applications, medical emergency transportation is anticipated to grow at the fastest rate in 2020 and 2021.
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Integration of Artificial Intelligence Technology to Drive Market Growth
The drone product line has been modernized by recent technological breakthroughs in electronics such as cameras, mobile hardware, processors, microcontrollers, and modern computing. These advancements enable businesses to create and build in-house measurement and annotation tools for calculating distance, volume, and area. As a result, enterprises around the world are increasingly demanding machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions to extract accurate results from a pile of information and data acquired from millions of data points.
Artificial intelligence technology provides the management and storage of vast amounts of data, allowing UAVs to function better.
Several other companies involved in the market utilize the most up-to-date tools, such as automatic ground control point (GCP) processing based on 150,000 photos of selected GCPs. Manufacturing businesses' upgrades to play a major role in driving the commercial drone market growth.
Increasing Demand for Small Drones in Commercial Applications to Propel Market Growth
Growing adoption of small unmanned aerial vehicles used for various commercial applications, such as aerial photography, filmmaking, precision, agriculture, law & enforcement, wildlife monitoring, entertainment, disaster management, relief & rescue operation, research & development, logistics & transportation, and construction, is expected to fuel the market growth.
Several engineering companies and other companies are extensively adopting small drones for numerous commercial projects. The key commercial applications also include in-depth project inspection, maintenance, transmission cable & oil pipeline inspection. A rise in demand for unmanned systems in the oil & gas, energy, and power generation sector is likely to fuel market growth in the upcoming years.
The major technology giant Amazon Inc. and giant logistic companies, such as UPS, DHL, and FedEx, are heavily investing in creating drone delivery platforms owing to an increase in demand for home delivery services for food and e-commerce platforms. An increase in demand for online food delivery services across the globe is projected to propel the demand for small drones during the forecast period.
Development of Remote Sensing and Advanced ADS-B Transponder Technologies is Driving the Market
Drones are well-suited for quasi-static positioning of advanced sensors in 3D space with high precision. Even in windy conditions, commercial drones enable precise flight control and operations in cluttered environments due to their maneuverability and ability to fly at any low speed. There is a growing interest in deploying drones for forest monitoring, photogrammetric survey, and infrastructure inspection. These applications are based on remote sensing tasks.
ADS-B utilizes a trig transponder, which is pooled with a GPS in order to convey greatly precise positional information to the ground-based controllers and also straight to other drones. This conveying of information is known as ADS-B Out, and its precision is bigger than utilizing conventional radar surveillance. This provides air traffic controllers the potential to decline the desired departure distance between drones that are ADS-B equipped.
The High Eye Airboxer is a long-range UAV that is powered via an air-cooled boxer engine that has fuel injection. Along with a payload capability of 5kg, multiple payloads, sensors, and other surplus hardware can be amalgamated onto the UAV, making it a hugely flexible platform appropriate for combat missions.
Lack of Uniform Air Traffic Management and Skilled Trained Pilots May Hamper Market Growth
Drones are widely used for commercial, military & defense, and civil applications around the world. The industry and end-users have been witnessing severe limitations on drone flying in numerous countries for the past few years. A few countries are allowing commercial flights for small drones Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), and some have a mandatory license for the flights.
The challenges faced by the drone industry are lack of infrastructure for air traffic control, which is responsible for safe flight operations in controlled airspaces. The existence of uniform air traffic management can create drone-related safety as well as minimize operational challenges. These key factors are projected to support drone operations in various regions at the same time, and it will protect against environmental damage and property losses.
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25Kg-150Kg Segment to Grow at a Higher CAGR Backed by Increasing Development of eVTOL Aircraft
Based on weight, the market is segmented into <2Kg, 2Kg – 25Kg, and 25Kg – 150Kg. The <2Kg segment is estimated to hold the highest commercial drone market share in 2021 owing to the increasing adoption of small drones for various applications such as filming, photography, mapping, surveying, inspection, and others.
The 25Kg – 150Kg segment is expected to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period owing to the growing development of Electric-Vertical Take-off Landing (eVTOL) aircraft for passenger as well as logistics transportation.
Fully Autonomous Segment to Grow at Higher CAGR Owing to Increasing Demand for AI Enabled Commercial Drones
In terms of technology, the market is segmented into fully autonomous, semi-autonomous, and remote operated.
The fully autonomous segment is predicted to showcase higher growth during the forecast period. Increasing demand for drones which have the ability to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) is predicted to fuel the growth of the fully autonomous segment. In addition, the rising demand for AI-enabled drones is anticipated to surge the demand for fully autonomous drones.
The remote operated segment is anticipated to have a dominant share in the market during the forecast period. Comparatively, low cost and ease of use of remotely operated commercial drones are primary factors that have increased its adoption for a wide range of commercial applications.
The semi-autonomous segment is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The growing demand for semi-autonomous drones for precision agriculture, especially in developing countries, such as China and India, is expected to boost the segment growth.
Hardware Segment to Hold a Significant Share Due to Increased Demand for UAVs
In terms of system, the market is segmented into hardware and software.
The hardware segment is further subdivided into the airframe, propulsion system, payloads, and others.
The hardware segment is estimated to hold the largest market share in 2021. The growing adoption of drones for several commercial applications such as pipeline inspection, aerial photography, surveillance, and wildlife monitoring is anticipated to drive the growth of the segment during the forecast period. In addition to this, the market witnessed high demand for medical drones during the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver vaccines and medicines in rural areas.
The software segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The growth of the segment is attributed to increasing utilization of drone mapping software to analyze and represent collected data and to enhance operational efficiency. In addition, the rising adoption of advanced technology-enabled fully autonomous drones across the world is supporting the segment growth.
Delivery and Logistics Segment to Grow at Higher Rate Due to Increased Demand for Delivery Drones
Based on application, the market is segmented into horticulture and agriculture, filming & photography, mapping and surveying, inspection and maintenance, delivery and logistics, surveillance & monitoring, and others.
The filming & photography segment held the largest market share in 2021. The increase in procurement of drones, such as DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, Autel EVO II (With 8K video), PowerVision PowerEgg X Explorer, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mini 2, PowerVision PowerEgg X Wizard, and Parrot Anafi FPV, for aerial cinematography and photography is anticipated to drive the segment growth.
The delivery and logistics segment is predicted to grow at a higher CAGR through the projection period. The increasing development of VTOL drones for the delivery of food, medicines, cargo, and passengers is expected to boost the market growth.
North America Commercial Drone Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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Based on region, the global market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.
The North America commercial drone market stood at USD 2.42 billion in 2021 and is expected to dominate the global market during the forecast period. The rise in adoption of commercial drones and the presence of key drone manufacturers in the U.S. are anticipated to fuel the market growth in North America. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 872,694 drones were registered in the United States in May 2021.
The increasing use of drones for various commercial applications across Germany, France, and the U.K. is predicted to support the market growth in Europe during the forecast period.
The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to showcase exponential growth, owing to rising drone production and operation companies across the region. The growth is attributed to huge investment in drone technology by the government and OEMs. The countries in APAC, such as China and Japan, have the presence of large drone manufacturers such as DJI and TerraDrone, respectively.
The market in the rest of the world has witnessed sluggish growth amid the pandemic due to disruption in supply chain management. However, an increase in the adoption of commercial drones for several commercial applications such as photography, pipeline, oil tank inspection, and 3D mapping in Latin America and the Middle East & Africa is anticipated to create lucrative growth opportunities in the market.
Product Portfolios of DJI, Yuneec, and Parrot Drone Are Strong, Resulting in Market Dominance.
The market is fragmented with several major companies. These important players are concentrating on improving their product portfolios, pricing strategies, and marketing efforts to increase revenue share in the next few years. With a dominant revenue share in 2021, DJI (China), Yuneec (China), and Parrot Drone (France) are now leading the market. Domestic participants are expected to grow due to a lack of substantial obstacles and high domestic demand.
New development, innovation product launch, acquisition, partnership, and collaboration are major strategies adopted by market players operating in the market. In March 2021, the leading drone manufacturer DJI introduced its novel first-person view (FPV) drone for entertainment and media end-use applications.
An Infographic Representation of Commercial Drone Market
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The global commercial drone market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as product types, technology, hardware, and software systems. Moreover, the research report offers insights into market trends, competitive landscape, market competition, product pricing, market status, and key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the sizing of the global market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Weight, Technology, System, Application, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 6.51 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 47.38 billion by 2029.
Registering a CAGR of 28.58%, the market will exhibit rapid growth during the forecast period (2022-2029).
The remote operated segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd., Yuneec Holding Ltd., and 3D Robotics, Inc. are the major players in the global market.
Use of drone for commercial applications are popular among users for aerial photography and filmography, entrainment, shipping and delivery, geographic mapping, precision agriculture, weather forecasting, disaster management, law enforcement, and various applications at remote locations.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.
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