The Strategist

Commercial UAVs market reaches $4 bln

12/02/2019 - 08:42

Unlike many other technologies, the drone market is deploying faster than previously expected, and it is about the commercial use of devices. They are used in various fields and even wider than it was anticipated several years ago. Now manufacturers have to adapt to the ever-growing list of possible ways to use drones.

Alexander Glinz
Alexander Glinz
Commercial UAVs are increasingly moving from the project stage to the actual application, and the market is growing rapidly, writes the Financial Times. According to analysts at Barclays, last year the market for commercial drones reached $ 4 billion, and it will grow to $ 40 billion in the next five years. It turned out that UAVs offer very wide use - from agriculture and construction to delivery of goods and collection data of all kinds. Goldman Sachs predicts that the UAV market will reach $ 100 billion in the next year. And even though the military drones will retain the lion's share ($ 70 billion), the commercial ones will have an impressive $ 13 billion.

It is now clear that forecasts for the case with the commercial use of drones were rather conservative. For example, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) admitted that it underestimated the speed of drones: according to its forecasts, the number of commercial UAVs in the United States was to grow to 450 thousand by 2022. This figure has already been exceeded this year. According to the FAA, now commercial UAVs, thanks to software upgrades and continuous improvement of cameras, sensors, etc., have come "to a tipping point, showing powerful growth stages," which will continue to accelerate over the next few years. One of the largest UAV customers in the United States is the Department of the Interior: police departments and firefighters use the devices to monitor the situation, search for people, aerial photographs during police operations, monitor the traffic situation, etc.

Also, UAVs are very actively used in the telecommunications industry - for example, to assess the condition of towers and detect possible malfunctions.

Drones can monitor condition of equipment, especially those located in hard-to-reach places. Oil and gas companies use them to check the condition of pipelines (previously helicopters with crew were used for this), and construction corporations widely use them at their facilities. UAVs also collect data for meteorological services, assess the degree of destruction and accessibility in the event of fires and other emergencies, and are used when shooting movies. Finally, the devices help eradicate malaria in Africa with insecticides that kill malaria mosquitoes.

The main manufacturer of commercial drones is the Chinese company DJI. Now its share in this market is about 70%. The company, established in 2006, was the first to make drones available. Initially, budget DJI UAVs were intended not for commercial, but for private use, but now about 80% of the company's sales come from commercial drones.


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