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Drone Software Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Architecture (Open Source and Closed Source), By Platform (Application-Based Software and Desktop-Based Software), By Application (Analytics, Image Processing, and Control & Data Capture), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Last Updated: May 13, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103527



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The global drone software market size was USD 1,165.3 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 43042.64 million by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 32.00% during the forecast period. North America dominated the global market with a share of 36.27% in 2019.


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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as a prominent technology for the past few years owing to numerous applications in the commercial and civil sectors. The increasing preference for commercial purposes is expected to drive the demand for UAVs during the forecast period. Drones are widely perceived as sophisticated gadgets for shooting aerial photographs and high-definition video for numerous applications. This is resulting in exponential demand for drone-related products, including drone software, which is widely used for analyzing, image processing, and surveying purposes.

Unmanned aerial vehicles are commercially adopted for excellent photo and video-taking capabilities in industries such as media, entertainment, infrastructure, security, and military. The broader development in the technology is providing well-equipped sensors on the board, along with the data & analytics systems. These combinations have opened up numerous opportunities for energy & power, agriculture, logistics, and transportation industries.  The UAV software is integrating with machine learning and other technologies to fill a gap in image processing due to many complexities.

For instance, in July 2019, DroneDeploy, headquartered in the U.S., launched a single platform for all drone operations. The new platform will include automated drone fleet management, low-altitude inspection mode, workflow integration, and advanced analytics. The development of new drone software platforms for advanced analytics by the major players operating across the globe is expected to boost market growth in the forthcoming years. 


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Incorporation Of Artificial Intelligence in Drone Technology to Drive Market Growth

The unmanned vehicle systems industry has experienced an improvement in technology in recent years, especially in military drones and other UAVs. The emergence of artificial intelligence technology that allows drones to fly on their own is one of the finest examples of the UAVs software for military drones. Artificial intelligence is now widely adopted in autonomous drones across the globe due to excellent reliability in complex terrain, extreme locations, and geographies. In March 2020- Swiss-based company Pix4D announced the commercial release of next-generation software, Pix4Dscan & Pix4Dinspect. The new software Pix4Dscan is a flight drone app that is designed to solve complex situations. The second software, Pix4Dinspect is a cloud-based software that provides an analytics platform to manage and deal with solutions for photogrammetry.

Nowadays, unmanned aerial vehicles are specially designed to carry out ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) missions regularly. Companies such as AeroVironment, Lockheed Martin, and Shield A.I. are developing a combination of image recognition and computer vision technology in drones to overcome major challenges. These drones are high-tech and well-equipped with the latest technology that is capable of navigating an unknown land without GPS tracking. These key developments by companies in various countries are fueling the demand for drone software systems across the globe.


Increasing  Adoption of Drones for Commercial Purposes to Surge Demand

Globally, the increasing adoption of drones in various industries is fuelling demand for modern technology in aerial vehicles. Drones are fully capable of flying at diverse geographic locations regardless of range and altitude. These benefits are propelling the demand for unmanned aerial vehicles in several countries.  Commercial applications such as precision agriculture, construction & infrastructure, security, energy & power, insurance, transportation, and logistics are majorly driving the drone industry's growth.

There are three major types of drones: fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and hybrid drones. The most common drone configuration is a multi-rotor with four propellers, six propellers, and eight propellers. The airplane type, such as a fixed-wing rotor, is configured for much more efficient and excellent endurance at high altitudes. Military drones are widely configured for long-range high-altitude operations. The growing adoption of unmanned aerial vehicles across the globe is likely to drive the drone software market during the forecast period.

Prominent Developments in Photogrammetric Software Technology to Propel Market Growth

Technological developments in the software and analytics field are expected to have a huge impact on UAV's software. Unmanned aerial vehicles have emerged as a prominent weapon and medium for the critical mission. Military drone technology is emerging as an advanced real-time data provider in various locations. Several studies on drone software and innovation in aerial imaging are offering lucrative three-dimensional geospatial images in real-time.

Major companies are investing large amounts in the development of sophisticated photogrammetric software by making measurements from photographs and accurate positions from surface points. The system also includes virtual processing components that extract information in the form of images and create 3-dimensional images in real-time. This development is projected to bode well for the development of future-generation aerial vehicles. This is one of the growth factors responsible for driving the market in the forthcoming years.


Growing Concerns over Cyber Security and Anti-Drone Technology  To Limit Market Adoption

The growing adoption of unmanned aerial vehicles is a driving need for the associated UAVs software with it. The drones are deployed with various navigation systems such as GPS, GIS, and other sensors. Most drones flying are operated through remote-controlled functions that can be jammed by interrupting transmitting signals leading to severe crashes. The jamming technology is used to counter drones signals, which can lead to off-tracking of desired routes in the airspace at unknown locations.

The major concern for the drone software is its vulnerability to cyber-attack by interruption of transmitting signals due to low cybersecurity, which leads to a crash landing with major damages. Providing high security to the software may incur a high cost of operation that may hamper the growth of the market. Moreover, the military operation is critical to operating in various countries. The cyberattack can cause severe damage to unmanned aerial vehicles as well as tactical operations.


By Architecture Analysis

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Open Source Architecture Segment to Remain Dominant

Based on architecture, the market includes open source and closed source.

The global market is projected to be dominated by open-source architecture during the forecast period. The dominance is attributed to the wide acceptance of open-source software by the large consumer base. Several commercial users prefer the highly compatible system owing to it being user-friendly. Open-source architecture is easily available for users across the globe free of cost. These key benefits are projected to fuel segment growth.

The closed-source architecture segment is projected to grow at a high CAGR in the market during the forecast period. The growing demand for secured and customized architecture in unmanned aerial vehicle software for commercial and military users is likely to fuel segment growth in the forthcoming years.

By Platform Analysis

Desktop Based Platform Segment is likely to Hold a Dominant Position

Based on the platform, the market includes app-based software and desktop-based software.

The desktop-based software architecture segment held a dominant share of the market in 2019. The dominance in the market by the segment is due to the high preference for desktop software for computers for data collection, processing, and analysis applications. The unnamed aerial vehicles are widely used for image mapping, information gathering, and other objectives in which well-equipped computers are required for the final analysis.

The simple architecture software can process and provide meaningful information based on the requirement in the military and commercial sectors. The growing demand for mobile-based platforms in various industries is propelling the market growth. Additionally, technological advancement in mobile platforms provides cost-effective solutions for many end-users due to high convenience. The segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR in the market during the forecast period.

By Application Analysis

Analytics Application Segment to Register a Higher CAGR

In terms of application, the market is segmented into analytics, image processing, and control & data capture.

The control & data capture is expected to have a dominant share in the market during the forecast period. The drone software is exclusively used to operate and control the flight operation from remote sensing. There are several unmanned aerial vehicles commonly operated through the ground-based control station. The ground control station transmits the radio signals to the drones and performs various flight modes.

The increasing demand for UAVs software in military-based operations is gaining popularity due to effective battle management and analytics systems providing accurate information. This is likely to fuel market growth shortly. The analytics application segment is projected to grow at a rapid pace owing to the high demand for photogrammetry software for 3D map generation.

High adoption of LiDAR unmanned aerial vehicles for surveying and aerial imaging is likely to fuel market growth across the globe in the forthcoming years.


North America Drone Software Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)

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The market is divided based on geographies such as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World.

North America is expected to lead the market during the forecast period, the market in the region was valued at USD 422.7 million in 2019. The dominance of this region is attributable to the increasing number of companies providing commercial and military software development solutions that enhance efficiency and operating capabilities. This, along with the presence of commercial unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada, is responsible for the dominance of North America in the market.

The market in Europe is expected to grow at a moderate rate owing to the rising demand for commercial drones and military drones in countries such as the UK, France, Germany, and others. Most companies operating in the region are focused on developing cost-effective and advanced autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles with self-take-off and landing capabilities.

The market in the Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit strong growth owing to the increasing adoption of unmanned aerial vehicles in different industries such as infrastructure, construction, energy & power, and agriculture. Leading market players in this region are making heavy investments in acquisition and development that will fuel the demand for this software during the forecast period.

Latin America and the Middle East & Africa accounted for a lower drone software market share owing to the limited opportunities for the companies. The increasing industrialization in major countries such as Brazil, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia is anticipated to fuel market growth in the forthcoming years.


COVID-19 to Provide Positive Impact on the Global Drone Software Industry

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be experienced by the various economies in the forthcoming years. The pandemic has spread over 200 countries around the globe. Thousands of deaths have been reported globally, and millions of people have been affected by the novel coronavirus. Government agencies are striving to flatten the curve by mandating severe lockdown scenarios in various countries. However, in COVID-19, the demand for UAV services has witnessed positive growth for drone delivery, remote monitoring, asset management, surveys, and homeland security. This has resulted in a rise in the demand for this market.

According to the International Transport Forum, various drone operators have offered help to several countries to combat COVID-19. In February 2020, In China’s Zhejiang province, drones were used to transport test samples, and medical supplies. In the United States, Zipline received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to supply medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) in a contactless manner in Charlotte, North Carolina, to respond to the COVID-19 situation in the region. 


Major Companies Focus on Launching New Products to Strengthen Product Portfolio.

The market is fragmented in nature owing to the wide software product portfolio of major companies in developed and developing countries. Currently, companies such as DJI, DroneDeploy, and Airwave are leading the market accounting for a dominant share in 2019. However, the lack of strong barriers to entry is projected to lead to an increasing number of domestic players entering the global market.

Other key players such as 3D Robotics and Dreamhammer Inc. have also entered the market competition with other drone software providers. The introduction of innovative drone software such as Drofika, Site Scan, Precision Mapper, and Agisoft is attracting huge attention of customers across the globe. In 2019, SenseFly and Raptor collaboratively introduced a thermal drone solution for the automatic assessment of the solar plant. The company combined three elements such as fixed-wing drones, mapping cameras, and software. The new innovative combination can inspect solar farms quickly, accurately, and easily. These innovation and development are some of the major strategies adopted by market players operating in the market.


  • Airware, Inc (U.S.)

  • 3D Robotics (U.S.)

  • Dreamhammer Inc. (U.S.)

  • Drone Volt (France)

  • DroneDeploy Inc. (U.S.)

  • ESRI (U.S.)

  • Pix4D(Switzerland)

  • Precisionhawk Inc. (united states)

  • Sensefly Ltd.(Switzerland)

  • Skyward Ltd. (U.S.)

  • DJI (China)

  • Other Players


  • January 2020 – Sky-Drone Technologies Ltd, the U.K. based developer of full-stack avionics solutions, launched the new Sky-Drones Cloud platform. The newly launched platform is for integrated drone fleet management, real-time control, mission planning, performance monitoring, and post-flight AI analytics.

  • May 2020 – DroneShield Ltd, a Sydney-based company, launched a new software, DroneOptID, a camera-based drone tracking system. The new software is loaded with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) engine to support computer vision technology to detect, keep track, and easy monitoring system.

  • June 2020 – Pix4D, a Swiss-based company, announced a new drone mapping platform Pix4Dcloud and Pix4Dcloud Advanced. The drone mapping platform can be used for surveying and site monitoring applications. The new software platform replaces the previous Pix4Dmapper cloud and Pix4Dbim Cloud software.

  • August 2020 – DJI, a leading Chinese company, released an update for the DJI Terra drone mapping software. The DJI Terra drone is mapping software updated 400 times faster than the previous one. The new drone surveying software tool can transform drone data into three-dimensional maps for accuracy and fast processing.


An Infographic Representation of Drone Software Market

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The drone software market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the drone software industry trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth prospects of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Million)


By Architecture

  • Open Source

  • Closed Source

By Platform

  • Application-based software

  • Desktop-based software

By Application

  • Analytics

  • Image Processing

  • Control & Data Capture

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Rest of World (the Middle East & Africa and  Latin America)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 1,165.3 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 5,961.6 million by 2027.

In 2019, the North America market value stood at USD 422.7 million.

Growing at a CAGR of 25.05%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The open-source segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing demand for commercial & military drones and their continuous development by market players are major factors driving the growth of the market.

DJI and PrecisionHawk, are major players of the global market.

North America dominate the market share in 2019.

Launch of advanced technologies like Agrisoft, and DroneOptID by market players are expected to drive the adoption in the global market.

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