A new report published by MarketsandMarkets Research predicts that the global small drones market will exceed $10 Billion by 2020, with nano drones leading the way in the segment. The report predicts that security and law enforcement will be the largest verticals in the market, followed by agriculture and drone delivery.
“The global small drones market is projected to grow from USD 5.80 Billion in 2015 to USD 10.04 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 11.6% during the forecast period,” says the report summary. “Factors such as rising demand for operational efficiency for surveillance and reconnaissance, and minimized human intervention in combat and other risky military operations and in commercial avenues, such as agriculture and transportation for crop monitoring and packet delivery respectively, are the major factors that will drive the global market.”
More interesting than the numbers – drone market predictions vary enormously based upon what exactly is measured – is the prediction that nano drones will be an emerging force in the market. “The nano drones segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period of 2015 to 2020, as the demand for nano drones across all the industries are increasing globally, combined with several advancements in nano technology for drones,” says the report.
Nano drones offer many advantages to consumers and regulators. Less conspicuous and able to access small spaces, nano drones can be the ideal application for military and law enforcement applications. Their extemely light weight and small size make them unlikely to inflict much damage in case of an accident – a desirable characteristic from a regulation standpoint.
The report names several major players – all recognizable as leading in the military market. AeroVironment (U.S.), Lockheed Martin (U.S.), Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel), and Elbit Systems (Israel) were listed as market leaders.
Growth is not expected to come primarily from Europe and the U.S. “The Asia-Pacific region is expected to exhibit the highest growth rate in the small drones market, and is projected to grow at a highest CAGR during the forecast period from 2015 to 2020,” says the report. “The Asia-Pacific market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR, because several Asia-Pacific countries such as India, China, Australia, South Korea, and others have focused production of small drones for commercial and defense purposes, such as crop monitoring, logistics, reconnaissance and surveillance, among others.”
Researchers caution, however, that industry growth faces challenges – namely, regulation. “The growth of the small drones market could, however, be affected by certain major restraints in the coming years. These factors include strict airspace regulations across major countries of the world, especially the U.S., where FAA pioneered in setting regulations for commercial use of drones in the region.”
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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