The global commercial drone market size was valued at USD 20.8 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 1,205 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 57% during the forecast period (2022–2030). A commercial drone is defined as a quadcopter, octocopter, or hexacopter used for commercial purposes rather than personal and recreational use. Commercial drones operate in the same way that personal drones do. They are outfitted with flight control computers and sensors to hover and perform programmed movements. Commercial drones can do more than hover or fly back and forth. They are equipped with high-definition thermal cameras that allow the pilots to see what the drone sees in real-time. Furthermore, some drones can stay in the air for hours and fly hundreds of feet.
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In recent years, the successful design of small remote-controlled aircraft has become the most popular commercial industry worldwide. The commercial drone industry strongly supports the economic development of several countries. Construction and infrastructure, agriculture, mining, oil and gas, surveying, and power generation have grown significantly. This sector is predicted to expand exponentially due to key players' extensive research and development efforts.
Such advancements have reduced the cost of drones, payloads, and software systems. As a result, surveying, aerial mapping, aerial photography, inspection, and precision agriculture have all seen widespread adoption. Real-time data analysis on the ground is required to understand the actual potential of projects that will boost market expansion. The global business outlook is being bolstered by significant investment from major players such as DJI, Yuneec, and 3D Robotics. These factors are expected to drive global market growth during the forecast period.
The vast majority of UAVs share the same physical components. A basic drone encompasses a body, power source, hardware device), actuators, internal and external detectors, and autopilot software. Therefore, a drone's sensors determine external distance measurements and detect external configurations to avoid a collision. The power supply for an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) can vary from lithium-polymer batteries to conventional plane engines. A flight stack, which contains firmware, middleware, and an operating system, is liable for navigation, flight control, and decision-making and is also included in UAVs.
Patent holders' ideas for future potential drone technologies may impact UAV utilization in the coming years. Such technologies encompass improved computer vision, environmental awareness, hydrogen-powered drones, and self-charging. In the future, UAVs can be used for self-driving taxis and public transportation, as well as drone waitstaff and flying assistants.
Advanced technologies in unmanned systems are believed to impact the drone industry vastly. In 2021, an IIT Hyderabad scientist designed and constructed an uncrewed aerial vehicle that might manage packets of different sizes and shapes. Skydio 2, a product initiated in the US by Skydio, Inc in 2019, was sold out on the same day. The Skydio Autonomy Engine, the largest and most powerful artificial intelligence system, was used to create it. The Company has set new standards by creating a competitive edge on the commercial platform. Yuneec, a leading company, has invented a new product to provide high-quality services to clients in various countries.
Commercial drones have been widely used across industries due to their highly effective technology for various aerial applications. However, most businesses are concerned about aviation authorities' lack of air traffic management in multiple countries. Many countries have strict regulations for flying drones near airports and their surroundings. Most countries are facing criticism for violating privacy and personal space through drone use, primarily impeding commercial expansion.
In addition, the industry is facing allegations of safety concerns for drone operations due to improper handling and battery failure in several incidents. These cases demonstrate a strong need for skilled and professional remote-control device operations. The damages are causing a significant financial loss due to improper handling, which directly impacts regional safety and security concerns. During the forecast period, these factors are expected to stifle future growth.
As outlined in a recent North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Lesson Learned, drones, or unmanned aircraft systems, are more commonly used in the energy sector. Drones can aid energy companies in improving productivity and safety by accomplishing high-risk or time-consuming duties like extensive storm damage surveys, substation/switching station and line inspections, wind farm, line fixing, power plant and gas pipeline reviews, and security architecture.
Participants in the energy sector involved in using drones should know the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) extensive regulation of their procedure. Energy firms that want to use drones weighing less than 55 pounds to assist their operations must adhere to the FAA's Small U.A.S. Rule (14 CFR Part 107) controls the commercial use of military drones and contains location and time of operation restrictions.
The Rule requires commercial operators to sign up their drones with the FAA, obtain a remote pilot certificate by passing an aerospace knowledge and security test, and abide by the rules. On a worldwide scale, the energy sector provides essential utilities such as electricity, oil, steam, natural, gas, water, and wastewater disposal.
These are vital resources for society to work. Moreover, since a drone can access and record information, many drone applications are ideal for maximizing processes in the energy sector. As a result, the market for using drones for energy is projected to be valued at USD 6 billion. Drones are used in this sector for various tasks, mapping, surveying, including inspections, and localization and tracking.
The global commercial drone market share has been classified based on product, application, end-user, and regions.
Based on the product, the global commercial drone market is segmented into Fixed-Wing, Rotary Blade, and Hybrid.
Rotary Blades occupied the largest market share of the global commercial drone market. It is expected to reach USD 872 billion by 2030, generating a CAGR of 54.5%. The rotary blade Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) drones generate vertical lift by rotating rotor blades around a central mast, forcing air downwards and propelling the aircraft into the air. Rotary blade UAV drones are made up of one to eight rotors that generate the necessary thrust.
The Fixed-Wing commercial drone is the fastest-growing segment. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 238 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 59.3%. The fixed-wing commercial drone market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period due to the increasing demand for mapping and surveying applications. Fixed-wing drones have been a preferred choice for long-range mapping and surveying applications.
Based on application, the global commercial drone market is segmented into Filming and Photography, Inspection and Maintenance, Mapping and Surveying, Precision Agriculture, Surveillance and Monitoring, and Others.
Filming and Photography applications occupied the largest share of the global commercial drone market. It is expected to reach USD 357.5 billion by 2030, generating a CAGR of 55.3%. Drone photography allows for capturing images and audio/video that would otherwise be impossible for human photographers. Drones' flight capabilities, small size, or ability to withstand harsh environments can contribute to this capacity. Drones offer new aerial perspectives, enhancing visual experiences and capturing new world vantage points.
Mapping and Surveying is the second-largest market. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 235 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 56.8%. These devices produce minimal noise, can move in narrow and confined spaces and can be equipped with thermal sensors and night vision cameras, which allows them to provide necessary imagery for surveillance operations.
Precision Agriculture is predicted to witness considerable growth, as drones have become one of the most critical aspects of managing vital operations of farms. These devices help farmers in a wide variety of tasks, including analysis and planning of crop plantation and field monitoring to determine the growth and health of crops. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 130 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 60.8%.
Based on end-user, the global commercial drone market is segmented into Agriculture, Delivery and Logistics, Energy, Media and Entertainment, Real Estate and Construction, Security and Law Enforcement, and Others.
Media and Entertainment dominated the market. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 260 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 53.5%. It consists of film, print, radio, and television. These segments include movies, TV shows, radio shows, news, music, newspapers, magazines, and books.
Delivery and Logistics is the fastest-growing segment. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 32.5 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 65.6%. It includes companies in the supply chain involved in the planning, implementation, and controls of efficient, effective forward, services, reverse flow and storage of goods, and related information between the point of origin and the point of use.
Energy is the third-largest segment. It is expected to reach USD 278 billion by 2030, generating a CAGR of 58.11%. The use of drones for energy infrastructure is and will continue to be the world's leading market for drone technology. This is due to the societal significance of energy production and maintenance and the exponential spike in safety and efficiency that drones bring to these activities.
By region, the global commercial drone market is segmented into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa.
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North American commercial drone market occupied the largest market share. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 370 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 55.4%. This is accredited to the increasing need from various industries and sectors in the United States and Canada. The US has a substantial existence of key players such as 3D Robotics, GoPro Inc, and Autel Robotics, contributing to the regional revenue generation.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 465 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 61.3%. The regional market is anticipated to be driven by a favorable regulatory landscape, especially among the developed nations. Several governments across the region are constantly working on formulating new regulations for the commercial applications of drones. Numerous start-up companies across the region are testing new applications of drones for commercial purposes and working on enhancing the safety of drones.
Europe is expected to grow at a moderate pace during the forecast period. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 310 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 55.3%. The growing demand for small drones and mini drones and the presence of prominent manufacturers are driving the Europe commercial drone market. Further, the European commercial drone market is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the broad potential and customer base.
Key players in the global commercial drone market are 3D robotics, Aeronavics, Aero Vironment Inc, Autel Robotics, Draganfly Innovations Inc, Ehang, FLIR Systems, Inc, GoPro, Inc, Holy Stone, PrecisionHawk Inc, Intel Corporation, Kespry Inc, Parrot Drones SAS <, SenseFly SA, Skydio, SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd, and Yuneec Holding Limited.