Defense and Consumer Drone Makers Set Their Line of Sight on the Commercial sUAS Market as Growth Soars

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Market to Exceed $30 Billion by 2025 with Commercial Sector Responsible for 70% of Ecosystem Revenue
13 Sep 2016

ABI Research forecasts the small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) market will surpass $30 billion by 2025, producing a 32% CAGR. The commercial sector will surpass the defense market in 2017, and by 2025, it will account for more than 70% of all sUAS ecosystem revenues. This includes agriculture, industrial inspection, and professional videography applications.

“It is readily apparent why defense sector sUAS suppliers, such as AeroVironment, Aeryon Labs, and Elbit Technologies, as well as consumer drone companies like 3D Robotics, DJI, Parrot, Yuneec, and others, are aggressively targeting the commercial sector through acquisitions, internal development, partnerships, and investment,” says Philip Solis, Research Director at ABI Research. “It is where the greatest long term growth opportunity lies. Many businesses within the commercial sector are willing to spend money on UAV-related services and applications to reduce costs and provide better service.”

The commercial sector will exhibit the strongest growth over the forecast period, with applications for professional videography, as well as agriculture and industrial inspection, responsible for the bulk of the gains. Data, modeling, operator and other services, as well as industry specific application services, will be the primary growth drivers for the commercial sector.

The consumer sector will follow the commercial market, achieving second highest overall growth. The civil and prosumer sectors will likewise experience moderate growth, while for the defense sector, growth will remain largely flat.

“The consumer sector is either low-end consumer products with limited appeal or high-end prosumer products that cost too much,” concludes Solis. “But this will change. Parrot is already offering products with the functionality of prosumer products but at a mid-range consumer price. Companies like Qualcomm will further enable high-volume potential of the consumer market with their silicon and software. Intel is also focusing on the commercial market, bundling its application and dedicated processors, RealSense sensors, and software solutions from its series of machine learning-related acquisitions.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s The Small Unmanned Aerial System Ecosystem: Product, Accessory, Service, and Application Revenue by Market Segment. This report is part of the company’s Enterprise IT & OT Convergence, Smart Home, and Transformative Technology sectors, which include research, data, and analyst insights.

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