The Asia-Pacific drones market is projected to register a CAGR of over 14% during the forecast period.
- The integration of sophisticated sensors and other payload subsystems onboard a modern drone resulted in augmenting the application profile of drones, rendering them capable of operating in emerging sectors, such as firefighting, mining, and infrastructure monitoring.
- However, the lack of regulations and restrictions on the beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) flight of drones in several Asia-Pacific countries have restrained the growth of the market. Other factors, like security and safety concerns and scarcity of trained pilots, are also anticipated to challenge the growth of the Asia-Pacific drones market to a certain extent.
Key Market Trends
Energy Segment to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
Modern drones are equipped with sophisticated technologies, such as LiDAR, state of the art GNSS, and inertial sensors, to deliver the highest quality in imaging and positioning data. Hence, they are being increasingly adopted to inspect critical infrastructure for renewable energy installations in Asia-Pacific. For instance, the adoption of wind energy resulted in the establishment of several wind farms in different countries, such as China and India. The windmills in these wind farms are subjected to several natural phenomena, such as hailstorms, lightning, rainfall, salt, and dust accumulation. With the application of drones in wind turbine inspections, the risk of injury is dramatically eliminated, and any components causing the problem are quickly detected without requiring direct contact. Drone inspection is a cost-effective and efficient inspection method, as both visual and thermal images of wind turbines can be obtained and processed for on-site analysis and assessment regarding the condition of the rotor blades. Drones also enable oil and gas companies to safely and efficiently assess, monitor, and manage assets. Drones can quickly inspect well sites, pipelines, storage tanks, and offshore platforms, and provide real-time quality data to the operator, minimizing the safety risks involved with manual inspection. Thus, the growing applicability of drones in the energy segment is expected to attribute to a higher revenue share during the forecast period.
China to Continue its Dominance in terms of Revenue During the Forecast Period
China became the global hub for drone industry manufacturing over the past six years. About 70% of the world’s civilian drone market is supported by China, with about 1200 drone manufacturers in 2019 (up from 130 manufacturers in 2013). The government of China is providing various subsidy schemes and other favorable domestic policies for drone purchases to promote technological advancements of industrial sectors. The widening application areas of drones is simultaneously propelling their demand in China. Currently, consumer hobbyist drones dominate the civilian drone market in China, whereas, agriculture and energy inspection sectors are the largest drone users in the commercial sector. China is also the world’s world’s largest eCommerce market with over 50% of global eCommerce transactions. Propelled by this growth, the cargo delivery, e-commerce, and last-mile providers are adopting drones for cargo and parcel deliveries for fast deliveries in remote areas. JD.com, a Chinese e-commerce company headquartered in Beijing has been making commercial drone deliveries in four selected regions scattered across China since June 2016. Later in 2017, the company announced its plans to build 150 drone launch facilities in southwestern Sichuan province for UAV parcel delivery by the end of 2020. The company also plans to introduce such services in Indonesia (tested in January 2019) and Japan (tested in February 2019) in the upcoming period.
Some of the prominent players in the market are SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd (DJI), Hubsan, Terra Drone Corporation, Guangzhou EHang Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd, Yuneec, and MicroMultiCopter Aero Technology Co. Ltd. The market comprises a handful of established players that enjoy a strong foothold in the market. SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd (DJI) is a company that controls a significant market share. However, there are many small companies and startups that entered the market in the past few years, due to the high profitability in the market. Companies are competing to gain market shares and developing advanced technology-integrated drone hardware and software solutions that reduce human effort in applications, such as mining, construction, and aerial mapping. Additionally, the entry of companies, like The Boeing Company, Alphabet, and Intel, into the commercial sector of drones is expected to make the market further fragmented over the coming years.
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