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The global LiDAR drone market size was USD 129.0 million in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 143.0 million in 2021 to USD 455.0 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 17.98% in the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unmatched and staggering, with witnessing a medium effect on demand across all the regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a negative growth of 5.6% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019.
The unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with light detection and ranging sensor technology are known as UAV LiDAR. The system equipped drone is used mainly to enhance object examination, detection, and mapping operations. This complete solution is preferred over traditional surveying methods because it can produce exact data and 3D images in less time and reduce operating costs. The primary factor driving the global LiDAR drone market growth is the improved automated processing ability of these systems in terms of picture resolution and data processing capabilities over other technologies.
A rise in demand for 3D imaging technology across numerous application domains and an increase in the usage of drones to explore and detect places and historical information are contributing to the market's growth.
However, a lack of understanding of the benefits of these systems and the utilization of expensive components such as laser scanners, navigation systems, and high-resolution 3D cameras all add to the expense of these systems. These constraints limit the growth of this market.
Disruption in Scheduled Production Due to COVID-19 Pandemic to Register Negative Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the multiple scenarios of end-use industries and OEMs around the world. The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in months of production backlog due to the severe global shutdown. As a result, government surveys and the usage of drone LIDAR in numerous countries are coming to an end, or at least for a limited time, insignificant domains of corridor mapping. This factor limits the growth of the market during 2020-2021.
The temporary shutdown leads to disruption in scheduled mapping and cartography, surveillance, exploration and detection, and precision agriculture application operations. This factor results in canceled or delayed procurement or service requirement.
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Rising Development of Next-generation UAV LiDAR Sensor to Improve Efficiency and Stability to Fuel Growth
Over the last few years, with the growing popularity of drones in many applications worldwide, demand for LiDAR has been increasing at a quicker rate. The integration of modern mapping technologies and navigation and positioning systems brings many operational benefits to UAV based products. The advancement of dynamic sensor technologies, such as accident prevention and warning systems, broadens the product range and makes it more appealing, particularly for UAV-based LiDAR. Specific sensors have optical altimeter technology incorporated to determine accurate measurements and computations based on the weights and sizes necessary for various investigations. Manufacturing enterprises may now provide a more cost-effective product selection thanks to these sensors. Lightweight components and gadgets and powerful photogrammetric software are easily fitted aboard unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Image processing software generates better and more valuable data than traditional systems for government organizations and critical corporate choices. These drones are designed to create high-quality, 3D images and accurate image processing of objects above the ground level in several product ranges. Large point clouds with unprecedented resolution and density have been created using a micro-electromechanical mirror-based laser scanner. The primary reason to increase the market in the following years is the shifting trend in high usage for various applications.
Rising Adoption of Cost-Effective 3D Image Mapping Systems to Aid Market Growth
The growing popularity of non-metric digital cameras equipped with fixed-wing and rotary-wing UAVs in the photogrammetric system industry is expected to boost the market. Technology is most commonly linked with airborne laser scanning. Since the past few years, innovation and drone technology have seen rapid progress. This type of drone has increased as a result of advances in sensor and laser components and lasers and drone cameras. Construction, vegetation monitoring, mapping, forestry, geography, archaeology, seismology, and precision farming are just a few of the essential uses. Improved laser sensor technology has emerged from the new research, and UAV scanning applications such as high-altitude airborne LiDAR have broadened the scope of applications in the infrastructure business.
LiDAR Mapping is a well-accepted and exact way of directly producing information about the shape and surface features from georeferenced spatial data. The new improvement in LiDAR mapping technology for scientists and professionals involves evaluating forest ecosystems, artificial settings, and their expansion on a large scale. The demand for LiDAR mapping has introduced accurate scaling, as it gives better accuracy, precision, and flexibility, provides greater accuracy, precision, and flexibility. These elements are expected to boost market expansion.
Growing Usage of LiDAR Drone in Corridor Mapping Applications to Propel Market Growth
The technology has emerged as a popular way for gathering precise data in dense landscapes and mountainous terrains. Remote sensing technology is similar to radar technology. The only difference is it uses laser light pulses instead of radio waves. Experts and engineers frequently use this technology to create three-dimensional models of motorways, breakwaters, shoreline structures, trains, roadways, bridges, and buildings. In the future years, this market is likely to be fuelled by an increase in demand for three-dimensional mapping for infrastructure development projects worldwide. In recent years, the use of drone technology has shown to be the most satisfactory solution for remote sensing platforms in various applications. It offers a unique combination of highly high-resolution data acquired at a low survey cost.
Archaeological surveys, forest monitoring, and vegetation monitoring are among the applications that use three-dimensional data-collecting platforms. By allowing high-density point clouds, this system uses picture matching and photogrammetric algorithms. The drone helps to collect very high-resolution imagery in order to create a dense point cloud. These factors are anticipated to continue to drive the industry forward.
Stringent Regulations and High Product and Operation Cost to Impede Market Growth
UAV LiDAR has become extremely popular all over the world. The industry is expanding rapidly as a result of the numerous technical advantages that come with it. Compared to other technologies, such as the photogrammetric system, laser technology is one of the most expensive. During the projected period, the market is likely to be hampered by a photogrammetric system's easy availability and low cost. The limited training institutions and experienced technicians to operate long-range UAVs and drone coverage are important issues for the sector. Commercial pilots of traditional aircraft and drone pilots, contrary to popular belief, are not trained or certified by any institution.
However, unmanned aerial vehicles are always at risk of catastrophic damage or accidents on the airfield during remote operations. During the projection period, these factors are expected to stifle growth. The United States federal government has enacted strict rules and regulations regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles during safe flights in the aviation industry. The government has implemented these regulations in order to prevent serious accidents caused by drones. Drones were also prohibited from flying throughout the night and above a height of 400 meters during the day by the federal authorities. Several countries are concentrating on developing laws for unmanned aerial vehicles and their commercial operation. Due to safety concerns, most governments have adopted strict limits for the operation of unmanned aerial aircraft at specific heights and perimeters.
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Rotary Wing segment to dominate the market
Based on the product, the market is segregated into fixed-wing and rotary-wing LiDAR drone.
The rotary-wing segment held the dominant share in the base year and predicted high dominance throughout the forecast period. The large percentage of the rotary-wing segment is due to the increase in the adoption of the single rotor and multirotor UAVs across the world. Furthermore, rotary-wing drones offer cost-effective benefits in 3D image mapping applications as compared to fixed-wing drones. The new development of enhancing the stability and quick positioning of the drones is improving the efficiency of the mapping application. In addition, the multirotor, a sub-type of the rotary-wing, is gaining popularity across the globe due to its easy flight controlling benefits over conventional products. It provides excellent control for covering the vast area for mapping in various terrains, forests, and farms. Its excellent control and stability benefits are also used for corridor mappings such as railways, highways, and building construction.
On the other hand, the Fixed Wing segment is predicted to showcase the highest growth rate during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for a fixed-wing drone for long-range detection and BLOS operations with increased payload capacity.
Solid-State Lidar Type Segment to grow at Faster Pace in 2021-2028
Based on type, the market is classified into solid-state and mechanical LiDAR.
The solid-state segment is expected to grow at the highest compound annual growth rate during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to its excellent technical advantages in numerous applications in the market. The new product development in various laser-oriented circuits is gaining immense popularity. The rise in the adoption of laser technology owing to its cost-effective benefits is expected to improve the efficiency of products in the future years.
The solid-state segment is entirely dependent on silicon chip technology, making UAVs lighter and faster than conventional products. The solid-state is a compact chip and robust technology that helps save construction space for the scanners and other devices on LiDAR. This new development provides higher resolution advantages for various applications such as corridor mapping and precision agriculture. These developments are helping to enhance 3D mapping with excellent results in suitable applications. Therefore, these factors are projected to augment growth in the future years.
The mechanical type segment registered the largest share in 2020. This dominance is due to the significant adoption of mechanical LiDAR to detect data over a large area of up to 360 degrees.
Long Range Segment to Boost at Faster Rate During Forecast Period
Based on the range, the market is separated into short, medium, and long.
The short-range segment held a dominant share in 2020 due to the excess adoption of UAV for low altitude applications. In addition, the short-range Lidar has a comparatively low cost than others.
The long-range segment is expected to observe the highest growth during the forecast period. This growth is accredited to the increased development of advanced laser technology to offer high accuracy and improved detection, even detecting from high altitude.
Mapping and Cartography Application Segment Held Largest Share in 2020
Based on the application, the market is divided into mapping and cartography, surveillance, environment, exploration and detection, precision agriculture, and others
The mapping and cartography application segment registered the largest share in the base year. This dominance is due to the growing demand for these drones in network and infrastructure management services in various industry verticals such as energy and utility, agriculture, railway, and oil and gas. In addition, the rising use of drones to create digital terrain maps further supports boosting segment growth.
North America LiDAR Drone Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)
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The market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and the rest of the world.
North America stood at USD 51.27 million in 2020 and is anticipated to lead the global LiDAR drone market share due to the rapid acceptance of progressive technologies and supportive drone flying regulations in the region. Besides, the existence of major manufacturers in the U.S., such as Velodyne Lidar, Inc., Phoenix LiDAR Systems, and LiDARUSA are supporting the market growth in North America. The U.S. has a strong presence of experts and professional users for several studies that facilitate the significant growth of the market. The U.S. is witnessing incredible innovation and development for enhancing the LIDAR-based technology to improve results in the mapping industry. The increase in use in several studies and government surveys is adding impetus to the market across the globe.
The market in Europe has recorded the second-largest share in the base year due to the presence of multiple manufacturers in this region, such as Leica, Delair, and Yellow Scans, among others. Growing demand for 3D image mapping for various applications in the countries due to the increased environment monitoring and infrastructural development is likely to drive the market in the coming years.
The market in Asia Pacific is experiencing rapid-paced growth during the forecast period. This growth is credited to the significant rise in the number of commercial drone manufacturers in developing countries such as China and India. This region is also experiencing long-term growth due to the strong presence of several drones and component manufacturers and users across the region. The Asian countries also benefit from the market in the agriculture sector for key applications such as precision farming and disease controlling studies. An increase in demand for laser technology in Asian countries is projected to fuel the regional market growth in the next few years.
As per our market research study, the Middle East & Africa markets witness moderate growth during the forecast period. This growth is accredited to the significant number of users in this region. Besides, the increasing investment in infrastructural development in the area is expected to drive the market in the Middle East region.
The market in the Rest of the World is expected to witness slight growth due to the increase in demand for cost-effective studies and government surveys in countries such as Turkey and South Africa
Adoption of Advanced Technology, Continuous Innovation, and Acquisition Strategies to Intensify Market Competition
The major market companies such as Velodyne Lidar, Inc., Teledyne Optech Inc., RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH, and Leica Geosystems AG focus on constant innovation to offer diverse product range. Moreover, they are also increasing their R&D investment and the interest in technological adoption, strategic acquisition, and partnership to design and develop next-generation LiDAR drone solutions.
Furthermore, key companies are adopting organic and inorganic growth strategies such as new product launches, entering into long-term contracts with surveying companies, and building long-term relationships with OEMs to withstand their market position.
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The global market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as key manufacturers, drone types, range, and applications. Moreover, the report offers insights into the UAV laser technology’s trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the market report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.
Value (USD Million)
Product, LiDAR Type, Range, Application, and Geography
By LiDAR Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 129.0 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 455.0 million by 2028.
Registering a CAGR of 17.98%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The mechanical LiDAR type segment is the leading segment in the market
Velodyne Lidar, Inc., Leica Geosystems AG, and Teledyne Optech Inc. are the leading players in the global market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
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