The global market for consumer drone is expected to witness growth in the future on account of its use in the agricultural sector and the law enforcement sector. These are named as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and find their use in various business verticals which comprise of retail, homeland, agriculture, security and military. The demand is very high for military applications, though applications in consumer areas are steadily catching up.
The UAV’s are gradually increasing their penetration in the e-commerce and retail industries to fulfill the purpose of earliest delivery to the customers to improve the company’s profit margins and make it their unique selling proposition in front of the customers. In July 2015, Amazon made a suggestion of allocating a separate airspace for the proper operation of unmanned aerial aircraft to provide goods to customers. Initiatives like these are usually hindered by the government and turn out to be a success only when fully launched in the market. The UAV’s also are extensively used by the government in applications of law enforcement, scientific research, infrastructure, disaster management and environmental studies. The bodies responsible for aviation regulations like Federal Aviation Administration had banned the use of drones on account of their limitations in controlling such huge air traffic and managing it. However, with specified weight regulations and height regulations certain drones are allowed but only for consumer use.
The consumer drone industry can be segmented by products in fixed wings drones, rotary blades drones, nano drones and hybrid drones. The market can also be segmented by its application sectors in agriculture, energy sector, government, media & entertainment, and other applications.
The fastest growing market is expected to be agriculture owing to the benefits that are received by the use of drones in regular monitoring of the crop. Technological market leaders like Google and Facebook are planning to use UAVs for providing internet access to the remote areas by creating it act as a hotspot or flying internet around the earth’s atmosphere. Amazon’s prime air drone enhances delivery of goods in 30 minutes to the customer after the customer places the order. Along with its wide consumption across the retail sector and law enforcement, UAVs are also used in systems of mapping, imaging at high altitude, patrolling of wildlife, and monitoring forest fire. In the month of September 2014, the FAA approved regulatory authorizations to six television and films production companies like Astraeus, Aerial MOB, and Aerial HoliVideo Productions to use cameras that are equipped with UAVs on their film sets.
North America is expected to drive the growth of the market on account of its increasing use in consumer sector which has led to rising production volumes in the region. The European market for consumer drones is expected to grow on account of the easing of regulations and the increasing use of drones for agricultural sector and law enforcement sector.
Favorable government initiatives and retrofits in buildings are expected to result in the expansion of the product in the European region. Asia Pacific is expected to witness a rise in demand for the UAVs owing to the expansion of the retail sector and continuous efforts by the government tom improve their defense capabilities Countries such as Australia and Japan are mostly expected to witness the significant growth owing to the use of drones in the agricultural sector. Chinese consumer drone market is expected to grow significantly on account of the country’s growing military and civil application segment. The country has been investing regularly in technological up gradations and is considered as a major global force in terms of military and civil sources. The use of a drone is expected to solve and fill the loopholes in their military systems owing to the use of the drone for spying as well as keeping a close watch on the border areas to be prepared for the attack. The consumer drone market thus in Asia Pacific has a huge scope of growth in the near future on account of emerging economies willing to invest towards technological up gradation.
AeroVironment Inc., DJI Dragonfly, BAE Systems, Elbit Systems, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp., Israel Aerospace Inc., Northrop Grumman, Textron Inc., Parrot SA along with The Boeing Co. are expected to dominate the industry. Vertical integration and licensing of technology are predicted to be the most adopted strategic implementations among the various industry players. Technology companies and government agencies are entering into partnerships & their increasing collaborations will result in improving the scope and development of the product. Growing funding activities by venture capitalists are expected to be a critical factor for research and development activities in the near future.
Research Support Specialist, USA