Global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, predicts stunning growth for the drone industry, predicting that by 2030, the market could be worth USD$92 billion, according to the company’s website. The small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) market continues to develop at an impressive pace and is unmarred and even heightened by the challenges of Covid-19.
The report states, “While the pandemic has dented consumer shipments and hindered commercial rollout, this has been mitigated by increased use of drones for public service responses and surveillance by both local and national police forces.”
It continues, “Looking forward, new regulatory changes and the slow rollout of remote ID and 5G will enable an enormous upscaling of drone operations, from single remotely operated aircraft to semi-autonomous fleets that will be able to operate beyond visual line of sight courtesy of impending unmanned traffic management (UTM) infrastructure. This will provide the base from which companies like Amazon can launch drone delivery services.”
Concerning this report, Rian Whitton, Senior Robotics Analyst at ABI Research, comments, “We have gone through various phases of the drone industry, from its genesis in the military to the proliferation of consumer drones. Since Chinese developer DJI monopolised that space, the attention has shifted to commercial applications.”
He continues, “While some of the initial hype has subsided, providers and end-users are refocusing on developing the necessary supporting infrastructure and services to make drone technology viable at scale.”
The 2030 prediction of USD92 billion by 2030, with a CAGR rate of 25%, compares to the present USD9.5 billion in annual revenue for 2020, where 70 percent comes from the commercial sector (USD63 billion).
The report explains, “The largest number of drone registrations are currently in the USA, where the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) tracks 1.7 million consumer drone operators and 400,000 commercial pilots. China is catching up with 400,000 registered drones, while the European Union (EU) has over 1 million registrants. Among the biggest markets are security and industrial inspection, with growing opportunities in delivery, agriculture, and emergency services.”
The story of the next decade will be the development of key technologies like edge computing, cloud services, and 5G connectivity enabling mass deployments, in tandem with regulatory harmonisation.
Whitton points out, “While cloud services will help enable the collection and orchestration of massive amounts of data, 5G will significantly reduce latency for mission-critical drone operations. The advancement of edge computing and processing hardware will also be important, as drones can be untethered from the remote operation and become truly autonomous.
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