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3 key trends driving the adoption of commercial drones market in North America

Author : Ronak Bora | Published Date : 2020-11-17 

Commercial drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) deployment in North America has increased considerably over the past few years, with relaxation offered by the FAA to utilize the technology for commercial purposes. Since their initial development, commercial UAVs have mainly been used for aerial video and photography.

However, in recent years, their capabilities have been increasingly leveraged by different industrial sectors. Although they are still in the early stage in terms of mass adoption, commercial drones are expected to find their way into myriad new applications in the future.

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It is estimated that North America commercial drones market size will hit an annual valuation of over US$7 billion by 2024, with a range of new applications emerging across different industry verticals. Described below are some of the key factors augmenting the commercial application of UAVs.

  • Increasing penetration of hybrid drones

Drones used for commercial purposes can be classified as rotary blade drones, fixed wing drones, and hybrid drones. Rotary blade drones are expected to capture more than 77% of the industry in terms of revenue by 2024. Their use in applications such as targeted aerial photography and inspection is rapidly gaining momentum.

The demand for hybrid drones, on the other hand, is likely to grow at a robust 26% CAGR through 2024. Combining the features of both rotary blade and fixed wing UAVs, these drones are gradually making their way into a range of commercial uses.

Considering the technology, the adoption of autonomous UAVs is projected to grow at a CAGR of more than 23.4% over the next few years. The popularity of these aerial devices has been mainly driven by constant technological advances and availability of innovative features. For example, they can be equipped with thermal and hyperspectral sensors to capture and experience an immersive view of the environment.

  • Expanding scope in new applications

In addition to aerial photography, commercial applications of drones include agriculture, inspection & monitoring, remote sensing & mapping, emergency management, and wildlife research & preservation. Aerial photography application is likely to dominate North America commercial UAV industry by 2024, capturing over 32% of the revenue share.

The technology is being prominently used to monitor and survey remote locations. Meanwhile, its use in emergency management is expected to grow considerably in the future, where aerial devices can be used for search and rescue missions in disaster-affected areas to provide aid to victims.

The use of UAVs in agriculture has been gathering pace across North America. The equipment provides farmers with advanced decision-making insights through big data analytics capabilities, which helps them better understand their crops and enable suitable maintenance and balance during crop production.

  • Widespread adoption in the U.S.

In terms of the regional outlook, the U.S. is anticipated to hold more than 89% revenue share of the commercial drones market in North America by 2024. The regional demand can be attributed to growing use of UAVs in civilian applications and rising awareness regarding their potential in these applications.

The country may experience certain difficulties in adoption of commercial UAVs due to strict and specific guidelines and regulation set forth by the FAA. Regional manufacturers are focusing on product innovation in order to comply with these norms and tackle the challenges presented by them. However, it is anticipated that FAA’s Part 107 regulations, which govern the use of UAVs for civilian and commercial purposes, will receive some relaxation in the upcoming years.

Canada commercial drones industry size is estimated to witness a healthy 27% CAGR through 2024, with supportive government efforts to promote the adoption of the technology in commercial applications. BAE Systems, DJI, Walkers Technologies, Flyability, Xiaomi, GoPro, 3D Robotics, Parrot, and Hobby Technology are among the leading players in the industry.

In September 2020, DJI had expanded data privacy protection capabilities for its commercial and government drones. The expansion allows commercial drone operators to select the best DJI drone as per the application. Similar advances in UAV technologies will bolster their reliability and security, impacting the product demand.

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About Author

Ronak Bora

Ronak Bora

A graduate in Electronics Engineering, Ronak writes for fractovia and carries a rich experience in digital marketing, exploring how the online world works from a technical and marketing perspective. His other areas of interest include reading, music, and sport. [email protected] | https://twitter.com/RonakBora26

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