Commercial drone/UAV market to record an astounding CAGR of 25% over 2017-2024, agriculture sector to drive the application landscape

The technological advancements and innovation in the commercial drone industry space is also estimated to drive the revenue. The integration of artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning algorithms has developed several new avenues for utilization of UAVs capabilities. For instance, retail industry is also leveraging the capabilities for delivering package. In December 2016, Amazon successfully completed one of the first ever commercial deliveries in Cambridge, UK. Similarly, Zipline, a U.S. based robotics company deployed its fleet of drones to deliver blood in Rwanda to provide medical relief in remote areas of the East African region. The company even plans to utilize the capability of civil drones to delivery one of the largest drone delivery network in Tanzania.

Commercial Drone Market is set to exceed USD 17 billion by 2024; according to a new research report. The shipments surpassed 100,000 units in 2016.

The growth of the market is credited to increasing venture capital investment in the market space. In 2016, there were about 105 deals with an approximation of USD 541 million. It was estimated that the investment in commercial drones moved from hardware to software in 2017 with the Venture Capitals (VCs) targeting end-to-end solutions, software, and counter-drone technology. One of the most important investments in 2017 was of 3D Robotics of about USD 53 million Series D round from Atlantic Bridge CapitalTrue, VenturesFoundry and GroupMayfield. It witnessed the transition from hardware to software services. Moreover, commercial drone market companies which led the funding were targeting industrial and enterprise inspection. With an ever-growing adoption of commercial drones, it implies great affordability for businesses and operators. Furthermore, manufacturing techniques of computer chips, economies of scale, and software advances are driving the cost of drone sensors and platforms and solutions.

The agriculture industry has emerged as one of the major end-users in the commercial UAV market. They are used for a wide range of applications such as planting, soil and field analysis, crop monitoring, health assessment, crop spraying and irrigation in the complete crop cycle. Other use cases include producing a precise 3D map for soil analysis, which can guide in planning of seed planting patterns. A drone-driven method of soil analysis offers data for nitrogen level and irrigation management, which is also estimated to be a major factor driving the commercial UAV market demand.

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Asia Pacific is estimated to gain substantial growth during the forecast period owing to the rapid increase in awareness for civilian drone applications and relaxation by government for the use of UAVs for commercial purposes. Furthermore, the presence of substantial number of drone’s manufacturers in the region, especially in China, such as DJI and Xiaomi, is also estimated to be drive the growth of the commercial UAV market. The market is also aided by adoption of drones by the customers and enterprises in fields such as agriculture, retail, and construction.

The major vendors in the commercial UAV market are 3D Robotics, Airobotics, AeroVironment, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, Bae Systems, Cyberhawk Innovations Ltd., DroneDeploy, DJI, Ehang Inc, Hoverfly Technologies, Intel Corporation, Parrot, PrecisionHawk, senseFly, and Yuneec International. These players are leveraging on the various strategies such as product launch, and strategic alliance to enhance their product portfolio and gain market share. For instance, In January 2017, DJI acquired Hasselblad, a Swedish camera company. The acquisition will strengthen DJI’s presence in high-end camera drones landscape by combining DJI’s aerial drone technology with Hasselblad’s cameras.