The global commercial drones market is forecast to exhibit a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8 percent between 2017 and 2025. At this pace. The market’s valuation is expected to reach US$ 8.89 bn by the end of 2025, from US$ 2.8 bn in 2016, a study conducted by Transparency Market Research (TMR) has reported.
The demand for commercial drones is accelerating thanks to their increasing use in aerial photography, precision agriculture, and surveillance applications. Images and videos captured through drones provide better image quality and resolution, which is a prime reason behind their application across diverse industries. Furthermore, with the recent advancements, 4K video capable smartphones and televisions have come into foray, which has made customers expect for better video and image quality. Taking cue from the prevailing trends, companies such as YUNEEC and DJI have launched commercial drones that offer HD video monitoring and 4K video recording capabilities. Will these trends create lucrative opportunities for the market’s growth? It is also expected to gain from the falling prices of components.
Agriculture to fuel demand
By type, the multi-rotor segment emerged as the lead holding a share of 25 percent in the market in 2016. It is expected to remain dominant through the course of the forecast period. The rising application of multi-rotor drones in agriculture and surveillance activities is expected to fuel their demand further in the coming years. Other segments under this category are single rotor, fixed wing, and hybrid. Of these, the fixed wing segment held the second leading market share in 2016. The demand for fixed wing drones is expected to gain pace with their increasing use in survey mapping and surveillance.
In terms of application, the global commercial drones market can be segmented into precision agriculture, aerial photography, surveillance, survey mapping, energy, and others. Of these, the aerial photography segment held the dominant share of 25 percent in the overall market in 2016. The increasing application of commercial drones in the media and entertainment industry for taking high definition aerial images for video shots will contribute to the segment’s growth. A majority of drones used for aerial photography are equipped with high resolution cameras.
Besides this, the use of commercial drones for precision agriculture is also expected to increase in the coming years. For instance, the farming sector in the US are increasingly using this novel technology to monitor crop feeds. During the forecast period, the demand for commercial drones for precision agriculture is forecast to increase at an impressive pace.
Regionally, North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa are the key market segments. Holding over 35 percent of the global market, North America emerged dominant in 2016. This regional market is considerably gaining from the increasing use of commercial drones for precision agriculture in the US. Commercial drones are used for irrigation equipment monitoring and cattle monitoring besides other purposes. Furthermore, the use of commercial drones for surveillance has considerably bolstered opportunities in the North America market.
Besides this, the market will witness lucrative opportunities in Asia Pacific due to the rising demand from China and Japan. China is gradually shifting towards automating its manufacturing facilities, which also involves considerable use of drones. In the Middle East and African countries, drones are used for surveillance and fighting terrorism.
Some of the leading players included in the study are Parrot S.A., Aurora Flight, Denel SOC Ltd., DJI Innovations, Draganfly, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Elbit Systems Ltd. and General Dynamics Corporation.