A new research report has suggested that the unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV drones market is expected to reach $48.88 billion in next five years from current $17.82 billion, growing at a CAGR of 18.32%.
The report by Research and Markets says the rapid technological advancements in drones and increase in demand for drone-generated data in commercial applications are the key factors driving the growth. Besides, the increase in investment also propels the growth of the UAV drones market, says the report.
The military drones are expected to hold the largest market share in 2017. Military drones are being used successfully by defense agencies across the world to guard their borders, enforce law, and for combat missions. Commercial drones are expected to hold the largest market share by 2023 and grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the rising demand for drones and drone-generated data in commercial applications. Also, in some countries, the rules for operating drones in the airspace have been relaxed, thereby boosting the adoption rate of commercial drones.
The market for military drones with payload carrying capacity of up to 150 kg is expected to hold the largest share during the forecast period as they have simple operational and maintenance procedures with high tactical capabilities. They are versatile and can carry out a variety of missions such as search and rescue, illegal traffic monitoring, support to ground forces, and intelligence missions. The market for drones with payload carrying capacity of up to 600 kg is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
Among all the components, camera is expected to hold the largest share of the market during the forecast period. Camera systems are used in UAVs continuous video monitoring, investigation, remote surveillance, border security, and protection of critical infrastructure, thermographic inspection of inaccessible buildings, and firefighting and law enforcement applications. The high rate of adoption of cameras for military and commercial applications is a key factor driving the growth of the UAV drones market for cameras. However, the market for sensors is expected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2017 and 2023.
Earlier, another research firm WinterGreen Research also had predicted a similar market size – $37 billion by 2022.
Among all the major applications of the commercial drones, the market for media and entertainment is expected to hold the largest share in 2017. Drones offer numerous advantages over other methods of capturing images; some of the benefits offered by drones include lower costs and improved quality of films and photos. This is the main driver for the growth of UAV drones market for media and entertainment. The market for precision agriculture is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
Of all the major applications of military drones, the market for border security is expected to hold the largest share in 2017. Drones help in capturing images and videos (e.g., footage of smugglers and undocumented immigrants crossing borders) using various payloads such as camera systems and sensors. Predator drones can silently patrol borders looking for infiltrants, illegal immigrants, human traffickers, and drug peddlers in desolated areas. The increasing demand for long-endurance and highly stable UAV systems from armies worldwide to secure their borders is a key factor driving the growth of the military drones market for border security applications. The market for spying applications is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
In terms of different geographic regions, North America is expected to hold the largest market share in 2017. UAVs have been extensively used by the US in strikes against terrorist outfits in Syria, Libya, and Iraq. In Canada, UAVs have been used in diverse environments and high-risk roles such as atmospheric research including weather and atmospheric gas sampling and oceanographic research. The market in APAC is expected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2017 and 2023.