A new study by Grand View Research estimates that the commercial drone market will reach $2.07 billion by 2022.
While many verticals will see expanded drone applications, agriculture and government will lead the way. In addition to military and homeland security applications, drone use is expected to increase in law enforcement and other federal agencies involved in disaster relief and land management.
While the FAA currently limits commercial drone applications due to regulations which limit flight, drones are expected to be fully integrated into the airspace over the next 7 years. Experts anticipate that advancements in technology to allow auto-piloted drones and safety features will open commercial applications in retail and other sectors, which would allow for even larger market share, the report states:
Retailing and ecommerce industries are working on making deliveries in shortest possible time using GPS programmed drones. In 2015, Amazon Inc. recommended the allocation of a dedicated airspace to the concerned authorities for the operation of these advanced delivery UAVs to deliver goods to the customers. However, such initiatives are only held back by government regulations, particularly in the U.S., and are set to make a positive impact on the industry once approved.
Those regulations are important in estimating the regional impact of the commercial drone market. While the report states that the US is currently in the lead for the commercial drone market, other regions may be catching up as regulations in the US limit commercial development:
High production and increasing applications in the commercial sectors has led North America to dominate the drone industry. However, relaxations in regulations and increasing use in law enforcement and agricultural applications in the European countries have had a positive impact over the industry.
While the economic impact of the commercial drone market on local economies has long been touted as a potential benefit, countries like Japan who are easing regulations in order to take advantage of the industry may come out ahead if the US does not move quickly to catch up.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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