The Drone Analytics Market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 15% during the forecast period.
- Drones have redefined and enhanced the productivity of numerous industries within a short period. Drones have been deployed for security monitoring, safety inspections, asset monitoring and surveillance, storm tracking, logistics, and to broadly study the environment by scanning remote areas.
- However, the use of drones and their capabilities are limited by the laws and regulations of the country, the end-user is based. For instance, the FAA has imposed several stringent regulations on drones. According to the current FAA regulations, all drones in the US must have a pilot at the controls and be within the pilot’s line of sight. However, the US-based companies are petitioning the FAA for waivers to the line-of-sight rule. In August 2018, the first such waiver was granted to PrecisionHawk, an aerial data analysis company, after they provided a year’s worth of drone flight safety data. The existence of stringent operational regulations in other countries may impede the growth prospects of the market.
- The next generation of drones is envisioned to be powered by artificial intelligence. Aerial AI is capturing loads of data on a real-time basis, opening a new world for looking over complex physical structures, and analyzing the captured data for defects. For instance, automated UAVs can scan blades on wind turbines and via onboard AI models, can detect defects and provide recommendations on necessity and timescale of maintenance. The introduction of AI in drones is envisioned to have a profound positive effect on the current capabilities of a drone, and would severely augment the potential applications of the drones in several industries.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Investments Toward Developing Sophisticated Drone Software
Since drone analytics is an emerging field with a range of potential applications, industrial conglomerates, chip companies, and IT consulting firms have pumped in significant financial resources to incubate and develop envisioned capabilities in the current generation of drones, both via a hardware and software upgrade. It is estimated that in the last 7 years, investments of about USD 2 billion have been attracted by the drone startups including OEMs and related companies in the supply chain. Also, with the market trends becoming clearer, both in terms of technology and the end-user, the investors have started focusing their investments on selected companies that seem to have higher growth potential. Typical examples include areas such as drone delivery, security, and mining. For instance, the medical drone delivery company Zipline announced new funding that brought the company valuation to USD 1.2 billion. Also, the automated drone-in-a-box solution Percepto announced a new round of funding amounting to USD 15 million. Besides, drone analytics companies are collaborating to address the specific requirements of the plethora of drone applications. For instance, in January 2020, AI-powered visual inspections pioneer Neurala announced a collaboration with drone service provider AviSight to provide end-to-end service to inspection customers who require a complete solution for drone-based inspections of critical infrastructure, including Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. Similarly, in February 2020, Neurala collaborated with Optelos, the developer of the drone industry’s first patented enterprise SaaS platform designed to fully operationalize digital asset inspection and management. Optelos’ platform is integrated with Neurala’s vision AI platform, Brain Builder, to improve the efficacy and efficiency of the defect and object identification. Similar collaborative efforts are envisioned to drive the business prospects of the drone analytics market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific to Experience the Highest Growth During the Forecast Period
The recent changes in drone regulations in several countries across the region are expected to support the growth of the market. China became the global hub for drone manufacturing in the past six years. About 70% of the global civilian drone market is supported by China, which had about 1,200 drone manufacturers at the beginning of 2019 (up from 130 manufacturers in 2013). The Chinese government is providing various subsidy schemes and other favorable domestic policies for drone purchases to promote the adoption of drones in various industrial sectors. The growing application areas of drones are simultaneously propelling the demand for these UAVs in China. The increasing demand for drones for monitoring, inspection, surveying, and surveillance applications in the construction, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, mining, and insurance industries is propelling the growth of the drone analytics market in China. Also, Australia has emerged as a major industrial hub in Asia-Pacific, which is witnessing the rising importance of BVLOS testing. As of July 2019, there were more than 1,200 drone operators in Australia. These operators are rapidly developing technologies and services to support the large drone ecosystem. The supportive drone regulations in Australia introduced by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), in support of many domestic and international players, are helping the penetration of drones into many applications.
The drone analytics market is highly fragmented, thereby new market players that operate at regional and local levels are also able to enhance their market share by leveraging their products based on cost differentiation and superior technical capabilities. Thus, to retain market dominance, the prominent market players, such as DroneDeploy Inc., Kespry Inc., Neurala Inc., DroneSense Inc., and PrecisionHawk Inc., are keenly investing in the development of new technology to upgrade their existing service portfolio. Rising competition is anticipated to drive innovation in the market, thereby helping the drone analytics industry to address user compliance issues, address the service limitations, and overcome existing challenges in the field of emerging sectors, such as healthcare mobility.
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