Expanded Commercial Use
Counterpoint, a global business research firm, estimates the commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone market will grow by 45% in 2018 and could triple by 2020. Falling prices for UAV hardware is a major factor fueling growth in the commercial sector. New features such as collision avoidance, autonomous flight mode and first person view are making operations easier for more applications. Furthermore, the greater expense of commercial drones compared to consumer models can be expected to drive up revenue.
Well Established Applications
Photography and videography are the most obvious commercial applications for drones; these industries have provided a solid market for UAVs for some time. Drones are also being used in agriculture, spotting differences among crops and helping determine the ideal balance of water, pesticides and fertilizers. Construction is another field making use of UAV technology. Industries already using drones can be expected to continue doing so.
Emerging Markets for Drones
Growth in the drone market will also be driven by the emergence of new commercial applications for UAVs. Delivery and logistics are areas where drone use is expected to increase. Some companies, such as Amazon, are working on package delivery with UAVs, while others, like Zipline, are focusing on getting emergency and medical supplies to remote locations. Other industries, including insurance and telecom, are beginning to utilize drones in their operations. Government regulation could prove to be an obstacle the adoption of commercial drones, but researchers still expect to see substantial growth in this sector.