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The global commercial drone market growth was valued at USD 8.77 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 10.98 billion in 2023 to USD 54.81 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 25.82% during the forecast period.
A drone is a flying device, including a camera and sensor. It is also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Different industries are investing in commercial drone technology and paying close attention to expanding their awareness of commercial applications, which is expected to boost the business outlook. Numerous firms are investing in new start-ups through well-funded strategic techniques to address the need for commercial drone portfolios such as surveying, air taxis, logistics, surveillance, monitoring, and mapping. The market growth is attributed to the growing demand for commercial drones for cargo and logistic operations. The global COVID-19 pandemic has enabled the market to witness a higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a higher growth percentage in 2022 compared to 2030.
COVID-19 Pandemic Caused a Rise in Demand for Drone Applications
The market experienced a surge in demand as soon as the lockdown was imposed following the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic prompted government agencies to make strenuous efforts to improve hospital infrastructure, basic medical facilities, and health facilities worldwide, simultaneously limiting transportation and movement to avoid spreading the virus further. Recently, numerous industries worldwide have started using drones to perform important operations successfully. Major companies are designing and developing lightweight commercial drones for various commercial applications such as medical emergency transportation, inspection & maintenance, filming & photography, mapping & surveying, surveillance & monitoring, and precision agriculture.
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Increasing Integration of Emerging Technologies Such as Artificial Intelligence to Bolster Market Growth
Technological breakthroughs in electronics, such as processors, microcontrollers, mobile hardware, modern computing, and cameras, have modernized the product line for commercial drones. Further advancements enable businesses to create and build in-house measurement and annotation tools for calculating distance, volume, and area. As a result, enterprises worldwide increasingly demand machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions to extract accurate results from a pile of information and real-time data acquired from millions of data collecting points. Artificial intelligence technology manages and stores vast amounts of data, allowing UAVs to function better.
Several other companies in the market use the most updated tools, such as Ground Control Point (GCP), based on 150,000 photos of selected GCPs. OEM businesses' upgrades are expected to play a prime role in driving the global market growth in the forthcoming years.
Increase in Demand for Smaller Commercial Drones to Accentuate Market Growth
Growing adoption of small UAVs for different commercial applications such as filmmaking, relief & rescue operation, precision, agriculture, law & enforcement, wildlife monitoring, disaster management, research & development, aerial photography, entertainment, logistics & transportation, and construction is expected to fuel the market growth.
Several engineering and other companies extensively adopt small drones for numerous commercial projects. Few key commercial applications of drones include in-depth project maintenance, inspection and oil pipeline & transmission cable inspection. A surge in demand for unmanned systems in the oil & gas, energy, and power generation sector will likely fuel market growth in the coming years. Amazon Inc. and big logistic companies such as UPS, DHL, and FedEx are investing heavily in creating drone delivery platforms owing to the demand for home delivery services for food and e-commerce platforms. An increase in global demand for online food delivery services will propel the market for small drones during the forecast period.
Development of Remote Sensing and Advanced ADS-B Transponder Technologies to Aid Market Expansion
Drones are well-suited for the quasi-static positioning of advanced sensors in 3D space with high precision. Even in windy conditions, drones enable precise flight control and operations in cluttered environments due to their maneuverability and ability to fly at a low speed. There is a rising interest in drone deployment for photogrammetric surveys, infrastructure inspection, and forest monitoring based on remote sensing tasks.
ADS-B uses a trig transponder and GPS to transmit highly accurate positional information to the ground-based controllers and directly to another drone. This transmission is known as ADS-B Out, and its accuracy is greater than conventional radar surveillance. This gives air traffic controllers the potential to reduce the required separation distance between drones that are ADS-B equipped.
The High Eye Airboxer is a long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) powered by an air-cooled boxer engine with fuel injection. With a payload capacity of 5kg, multiple payloads, sensors, and other additional hardware can be integrated into the UAVs, making it a highly flexible platform suitable for combat missions.
Lack of Uniform Air Traffic Management, Appropriate Infrastructure, and Skilled Operators to Limit Market Growth
Drones are widely used worldwide for commercial, military & defense, and civil applications. The drone industry and end-users have witnessed severe limitations on drone flying in numerous countries for the past few years. A few countries allow commercial flights for small drones Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS); some have a mandatory flight license.
The challenges faced by the industry are due to a lack of appropriate infrastructure for air traffic controllers responsible for safe flight operations. The presence of uniform air traffic management can create drone-related safety as well as reduce challenges. These primary factors are projected to support drone operations in various regions; at the same time, they 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 held the highest market share in 2021 owing to increasing adoption of small drones for various applications such as filming, photography, mapping, surveying, and inspection.
The 25Kg – 150Kg segment is anticipated to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period owing to the growing development of Electric-Vertical Takeoff Landing (eVTOL) aircraft for passengers. Additionally, subsequent technological advancement in drones of 25Kg – 150 Kg segment is anticipated to boost the growth of the segment over the forecast period
Remote Operated Segment is Expected to Hold the Largest Market Share Owing to the After Effects of the Pandemic
As per technology, the market is segmented into fully autonomous, semi-autonomous, and remote operated.
The fully autonomous segment is predicted to experience higher growth during the forecast period. The increasing demand for drones that can fly BVLOS is anticipated to fuel the development of the fully autonomous segment.
The remote operated segment is anticipated to have a dominant market share during the forecast period. Comparatively low cost and ease of use are primary factors that have increased the adoption of remotely operated drones for a wide range of commercial applications.
Hardware Segment to Hold Primary Market Share Due to Increased Demand for UAVs
In terms of system, the market is segmented into hardware and software.
The hardware segment is further divided into propulsion system, payload, airframe, and others. The hardware segment held the largest market share in 2022. The rising adoption of drones for numerous commercial applications, such as pipeline inspection, aerial photography, surveillance, and wildlife monitoring, is anticipated to drive the segment growth during the forecast period. In addition, the market witnessed great 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 segment growth is due to the increasing utilization of drone mapping software to analyze and represent collected data and enhance operational efficiency. In addition, the rising adoption of advanced technology-enabled fully autonomous drones across the world is supporting the segment growth.
High Growth of Filming & Photography Segment Attributed to Increase in Demand for Cinematography and Photography Drones
Based on application, the market is bifurcated into filming & photography, mapping and surveying, horticulture and agriculture, inspection and maintenance, delivery and logistics, surveillance & monitoring, and others.
The filming & photography segment accounted for the largest market share in 2022. The growth in procurement of drones such as Autel EVO II (With 8K video), PowerVision PowerEgg X Wizard, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, Parrot Anafi FPV, and many others for aerial cinematography and photography is anticipated to drive the segment growth over the forecast period.
The delivery and logistics segment is anticipated to rise at a higher CAGR throughout the forecast period. Increasing development of VTOL drones for delivering food, medicines, cargo, and passengers is expected to boost the market growth. Additionally, the increasing use of drones in delivery for e-commerce sites such as Amazon is expected to drive the market over the forecast period.
North America Commercial Drone Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The global market is segmented, based on region, into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.
North America held the dominant commercial drone market share in 2022 and stood at USD 3.24 billion in 2021 and is expected to dominate the global market during the forecast period. The rise in the adoption of commercial drones and the presence of key drone manufacturers in the U.S. are anticipated to fuel market growth in the region. Additionally, according to the Federal Aviation Administration FAA, 872,694 drones were registered in the U.S. in May 2021, while the numbers are expected to grow during 2022-2030, owing to rising demand.
The growing use of drones for various commercial applications across Germany, France, and the U.K. is predicted to support market growth in Europe during the forecast period. Additionally, presence of major existing and emerging market leaders in the region is expected to accentuate market growth over the forecast period
The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to showcase exponential growth owing to the rising number of drone production and operation companies across the region. The increase is attributed to the government and OEMs' large investments in drone technology. The countries in Asia Pacific, such as Japan and China, have presence of large drone manufacturers such as TerraDrone and DJI.
The rest of the world has witnessed depleting growth amid the pandemic due to disruption in supply chains. However, increase in the adoption of drones for several commercial applications such as photography, pipeline and oil tank inspection, and 3D mapping in Latin America and the Middle East & Africa is anticipated to create lucrative growth opportunities in the coming years.
Key Players are Focused on Building a Strong Portfolio Resulting in Market Dominance
The market is fragmented, with several major companies. These important players focus 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 2022, DJI (China), Yuneec (China), and Parrot Drone (France) are now leading the market. Domestic participants are expected to grow due to lack of substantial obstacles and high domestic demand. New development, innovative product launch, acquisition, partnership, and collaboration are major strategies adopted by players operating in the market. In March 2021, a 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 market research report provides detailed market analysis 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.
CAGR of 25.82% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights stated that the global market size was USD 8.77 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 54.81 billion by 2030.
Registering a CAGR of 25.82%, the market will exhibit rapid growth during the forecast period (2023-2030).
SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd., Yuneec Holding Ltd., and 3D Robotics, Inc. are the leading players in the global market.
North America topped the market in terms of shares in 2023.
U.S. dominated the market in 2022.
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