Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS), more commonly referred to as drones, have been in the public eye for well over this decade and a hype cycle developed around its applications for the consumer and commercial space. The high-profile failure of major drone manufacturers and software providers, such as U.S. firm Airware in 2018, somewhat tempered initial enthusiasm, causing early projections from industry organizations such as the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) to look overly optimistic. However, according to a new report from global tech market advisory, ABI Research, commercial drone usage, especially in the industrial space, will be a source of accelerating growth throughout the next decade with US$101 billion in revenue being created annually by 2030 across the commercial, military, civil, and consumer sectors.
“The consumer drone market has become heavily commoditized through the advancements and price point advantages pushed through by Chinese giant DJI, which has taken a commanding majority of all consumer-related drone hardware. With interest in the consumer space somewhat deflating, value continues to shift away from the drone toward value-added services for the enterprise,” says Rian Whitton, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. Services like analytics, unmanned traffic management, flight management, and repair are all increasing as the use of drones is scaled up to provide affordable and ubiquitous aerial imagery for verticals like construction, energy, and industrial inspection.
“Delivery by sUAS is going to become one of the larger opportunities for the market, but do not expect immediate returns inside five years,” Whitton points out. “While Amazon thinks it can get a 15-mile drone delivery going within 2019, there are still certificates needed from the FAA, including Part 135, authorization to operate an airline. They have so far cleared one regulatory hurdle, however, receiving a certificate of airworthiness from the FAA. “Overall, their ambition to make a drone delivery service in 2019 will be likely delayed by months. But with successfully tested drone-deliveries in the US, UK, Iceland, China, Indonesia, and Africa (for emergency aid), the use-cases have value. So much so that drone-deliveries are expected to reach global revenues of up to US$10 billion by 2030, accounting for 14% of all commercial sUAS revenue.”
Before any of this is likely to occur, serious challenges facing the development of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) need to be addressed. One is simply tracking and applying registration numbers to the multitude of drones that are already in the air. Another is the deficiency in effective communication link technology for long-range BVLOS operations. Even ignoring these technical hurdles, there is a fractured ecosystem of app developers and drone solution providers offering some UTM solutions, but they are not effectively coordinating with major government institutions like NASA to develop comprehensive coverage.
“We are not likely to see ubiquitous drone delivery, flying taxi services, or a massive consumer market for drones in the way people perhaps thought in 2015” says Whitton. “Instead, the growth in the drone industry will be dependent providing cost-effective three-dimensional aerial imagery and indices to industries and verticals that previously had no access to it, namely construction, mining, high-value energy assets, and infrastructure.”
These findings are from ABI Research’s The Small Unmanned Aerial System Ecosystem market data report. This report is part of the company’s Industrial, Collaborative & Commercial Robotics research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Market Data reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific technology.
About ABI Research
ABI Research provides strategic guidance to visionaries, delivering actionable intelligence on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces across the world. ABI Research’s global team of analysts publish groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms, empowering our clients to stay ahead of their markets and their competitors.
For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific or visit www.abiresearch.com.
About ABI Research
ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology solution providers and end-market companies. We serve as the bridge that seamlessly connects these two segments by providing exclusive research and expert guidance to drive successful technology implementations and deliver strategies proven to attract and retain customers.
ABI Research 是一家全球性的技术情报公司，拥有得天独厚的优势，充当终端市场公司和技术解决方案提供商之间的桥梁，通过提供独家研究和专业性指导，推动成功的技术实施和提供经证明可吸引和留住客户的战略，无缝连接这两大主体。
For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific, or visit www.abiresearch.com.
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