North America is leading the commercial drone market owing to increasing adoption for innovative capturing and discovering of events through filming, video and aerial photography. The relaxation on the use of UAVs for commercial applications by the FAA is also estimated to contribute towards the growth of the market.
Over the recent years, the commercial drone market has garnered immense popularity owing to the substantial increase in civil applications of unmanned aerial vehicles. It is quite a well-known fact that the commercial utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles has been steadily rising since the early 1980s. However, a significant increase in investments and the relaxation of some regulatory norms across the globe have opened up an array of practical applications of drones across numerous business domains. This has, in consequence, acted as a pivotal factor in propelling the commercial drone market share in the recent times. In fact, as per a research report by Global Market Insights, Inc., the global commercial drone/UAV industry commanded a total valuation of over USD 2 billion in the year 2016.
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Extensive usage of UAVs in the agricultural sector to drive the commercial drone/UAV industry progression
Boasting of a vast expanse of application spectrum, commercial drone market has gained extensive popularity over the past few years. As far as the wide-scale deployment of UAVs is concerned, the agriculture sector has emerged as one of the most lucrative end use segment of commercial drone/UAV industry in the recent times. It would be prudent to mention that drones are increasingly being utilized across agricultural fields in analyzing soil, assessing the health of crop, appropriate spraying of pesticides, planting of seeds, and irrigating the field throughout the crop cycle.
In fact, the technological advancements in drones have made it easier to formulate a comprehensive 3D map for soil analysis which can aid farmers to seamlessly analyze seed planting patterns. Apparently, the aforementioned benefits of deploying drones in the agricultural sector have impelled the growth potential of commercial drone/UAV industry.
Elaborating further, it has been observed that numerous leading commercial drone market participants have been forming robust alliances with government institutions to tap into the steadily evolving agricultural drones space. Citing an instance to highlight this trend, Parrot Drones has recently announced a share-cost initiative with the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to use drones in the agriculture sector of the sub-Saharan African region. Reportedly, the announcement of the latest collaboration comes in the backdrop of Parrot’s recent launch of its thermal imaging drone, the Parrot Bluegrass, that is particularly designed for precision agriculture. The innovative drone is equipped with both a multispectral sensor and a video camera along with a unique processing cloud platform.
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For the record, CTA is a joint institution of European Union and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States which aims to enhance agricultural productivity in its member countries by precise resource management and ensuring food security. Needless to mention, the latest partnership comes on the heels of the overall commercial drone market in the African continent.
Citing yet another instance of the technological advancement in the commercial drone market, it has been reported that scientists in the UK have successfully grown the world’s first crop of barley by deploying drones. Apparently, the project was named as Hands Free Hectare, given that researchers automated agricultural machines by using drone technology and no agronomists set foot in the land utilized to grow the crop. Moreover, an autopilot drone was used to get the tractors working for seeding, harvesting, and monitoring purposes. Considering the aforementioned instances which highlight the inventive usage of drones, the prospective growth of commercial drone/UAV market undoubtedly looks promising.
With a marked increase in the number of collaborations between technology leaders, governments, and industry players, the utilization of drones is bound to witness a transformative change in the forthcoming years. Furthermore, the deployment of drones across various end use domains including Wildlife Research & Preservation, Aerial Photography, Inspection & Monitoring, Emergency Management, and Remote Sensing & Mapping has observed a substantial increase. All these factors are certain to positively influence the growth potential of commercial drone market, which is forecast to surpass a remuneration portfolio of more than USD 17 billion by 2024.