This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the drone market, considering components, technologies, application roadmaps and markets. This report takes short-, medium- and long-term views. More specifically it provides the following:
Business trends in the drone industry: Here, we consider annual investment in 120 drone hardware and/or software companies. We clearly show that investment rose rapidly then peaked, consistent with the hype curve. We also clearly show that the composition of the investment shifted, emphasising software/service at the expense of the commoditized hardware. We explore the impact of the price wars in the drone business landscape. Here, we show that the leading suppliers effectively forced an industry consolidation, leaving others with no choice but to give up their hardware play and/or to rethink their strategies to find a differentiated offering in a specific commercial drone and/or software/service space. We offer insights into how future dynamics are likely to unfold.
Drone technology/components: We quantitively analyse the existing drone technology. Here, we analyse more than 60 drones to understand trends in drone prices, drone sizes, battery chemistries/capacities, flight times and ranges, body material compositions, various navigational or applicational sensors, electric motor capacity, electronic speed controllers and so on. This chapter provides a quantitative understanding of the drone technology as it is today both at the drone and the drone component levels.
Sensors in drones: We cover sensors in drones. Here, we consider two key trends. The first is the evolution towards full beyond-line-of-sight autonomous navigation. The second is the evolution of drones well beyond just flying photography cameras. For the first trend, we develop a roadmap showing how the on-board sensors and the supporting infrastructure need to evolve to achieve full autonomy. To this end, we will consider IMUs, GPS, camera, infrared, ultrasound, radar and LIDAR sensors. For the second trend we will consider sensors such as thermal, multispectral, hyperspectral, gas and other sensors.
Software and analytics: Software and analytics are key to drones. In this study, we consider three tiers of software: flight control, mission planning & management, and data analytics. For each tier, we consider the evolution of capability, covering the past, the present and the future. For example, for flight control we examine how the capability is evolving from basic remote-control towards full autonomous flight via see-avoid/track etc. We then explore the roadmap of software for each application sector. Here too we assess the past, the present, and the future, outlining the software capabilities today and those of the future. The timelines involved reflect out understanding of the technology and its challenges. Furthermore, we consider the impact of open source and examine the recent partnerships in this landscape.
Regulation: We provide a brief overview of the past and the present of regulation in key territories before offering insights into how the regulations might and should be evolved. Regulations currently impose many constraints on drones, shaping their potential market in various applications. Furthermore, technology capability is currently pushing ahead of regulation therefore legislators worldwide have difficult calls to make to ensure the right balance between commercial interest, public safety and personal privacy.
Applications: We consider more than 12 drone commercial applications including agricultural, research & rescue, inspection, delivery/logistics, real estate, construction, people-carrying, etc. We analyse the readiness and hype level of each application. We assess the drone's value proposition and challenges in each application. Furthermore, we provide a roadmap, outlining the status of drones in each sector today and considering its short-, medium- and long-term futures. This analysis feeds into the timelines which we use in our market forecasts.
Market forecasts (application-level): We provide short, medium- and long-term forecasts, in value and unit numbers, for the following sectors:
- Agriculture (hardware and software)
- Real estate
- Inspection (hardware and software)
- Construction software
- People carrying
To develop our forecasts, we carefully assess the technology adoption curve of drones in each market. Our insight and research enable us to estimate the size and position of drones in the technology adoption of each industry. We also build in reasonable replacement cycles in our models. All this enables us to build our forecast models, providing short-, medium- and long-term forecasts for drones in unit numbers and value.
Market forecasts (component level): We provide short, medium- and long-term forecasts in value and unit numbers for the following drone components:
- Electronic speed control (low-, mid- and high-rate)
- Electric motor (low-, mid-, and high-power)
- Navigation Sensors
- Camera (Navigation)
- Camera (FPV)
- Camera (Filming)
- Thermal Camera
- Multispectral Camera
Company profiles: Our research is based upon extensive primary and secondary research. We interview many companies in the business. In this report, we provide full profiles for around 30 drone companies including Agribotix, Deadalean, TwingTec, Yuneec, UniFly, UAV Factory, Precision Hawk, Aerovironment, Autel Robotics, Ehang, Exyn technologies, Flyability, Parrot, DJI, Airware, 3D Robotics, Aeryon Lab, DroneShield, vHive, Hoversurf, Nightingale Security, Sky-Futures, OPTELOS, SiteAware, Kray Technologies, DelairTech, Mothership Aero.
We look at unit numbers forecast for drones in various applications including, in no particular order, consumer, agriculture, real estate, inspection, emergency, construction, delivery/logistic, people-carrying drones, etc. We are also including historical data/estimates. Market forecasts in value are included in the report.
Source: IDTechEx Research.
Market for various components in drones. The legends are ordered alphabetically and do not correspond to the figure. Source: IDTechEx Research
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Table of Contents
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- 1.1. Our focus is on consumer, prosumer and professional drones
- 1.2. Drones: DJI's aggressive low-margin strategy commoditizes the hardware game
- 1.3. Drones commoditize: the shift towards software and vertically-focused analytics
- 1.4. Range of drone price on the market
- 1.5. Range of drone sizes on the market
- 1.6. Battery lifetime limits have created a niche for hybrid drones
- 1.7. Drone price vs flight time
- 1.8. Sensor fusion: towards navigational autonomy
- 1.9. Sensors : more sensors to be used in basic drones
- 1.10. Sensors: moving beyond just a flying camera
- 1.11. Short-, medium-, and long-term market forecast by application
- 1.12. Hype cycle for drone applications
- 1.13. Maturity level of airframe, sensor, and software for different applications
- 1.14. What is most needed technology for succeeding in each application?
- 1.15. Drones in agriculture: past, present and future
- 1.16. Mapping applications roadmap
- 1.17. Search and rescue: past, present and future
- 1.18. Delivery and Logistics: past, present and future
- 1.19. People carrying drones: past, present and future
2. OVERVIEW OF RECENT BUSINESS TRENDS IN THE DRONE INDUSTRY
- 2.1. Drones: dominant designs begin to emerge
- 2.2. Drones: moving past the hype?
- 2.3. Drones: company formation slows down
- 2.4. Drones: global geographical spread of companies
- 2.5. Consumer/prosumer drone sales boomed from 2012/2013 (inflection point)
- 2.6. Drones: DJI's aggressive low-margin strategy commoditizes the hardware game
- 2.7. Drone commoditization: price wars lead to consolidation
- 2.8. Drone commoditization forces a pivot towards software and/or commercial?
- 2.9. Drones commoditize: the shift towards software and vertically-focused analytics
3. ANALYSIS OF OFF-THE-SHELF DRONES : SIZE, PRICE, BATTERY SIZE, FLIGHT TIME, COLLISION AVOIDANCE TECHNOLOGY, MATERIALS, ETC.
- 3.1. Range of drone price on the market
- 3.2. Range of drone sizes on the market
- 3.3. Battery lifetime limit has created a niche for hybrid drones
- 3.4. Drone price vs flight time
- 3.5. Which battery technology is used in existing drones?
- 3.6. Common collision avoidance systems currently used in drones
- 3.7. Different collision avoidance sensors' characteristics
- 3.8. Market share of different ranging sensor technologies on drones today
- 3.9. Multirotor drone body material vs diagonal distance
- 3.10. Evolution of drone material from plastic to composites depending on size
- 3.11. Evolution of Electronic Speed Controller with drone size
4. SENSORS IN DRONES: NOW AND FUTURE
- 4.1. Hardware opportunity: specialized sensors
- 4.2. Navigation sensors
- 4.3. Sensor fusion: towards navigational autonomy
- 4.4. Sensors : more sensors to be used in basic drones
- 4.5. Navigational sensors on drones: ultrasonic
- 4.6. Navigational sensors on drones: infrared
- 4.7. Navigational sensors on drones: Inertia measurement unit (IMU) on drones
- 4.8. Navigational sensors on drones: GPS on drones
- 4.9. Application sensors
- 4.10. Sensors: moving beyond just a flying camera
- 4.11. Highlighting innovative sensors
5. DRONES: AN ANALYSIS OF THE SOFTWARE SIDE
- 5.1. Different layers of software
- 5.2. Drones on-board software: increasing autonomy
- 5.3. Planning and management software
- 5.4. Planning and management software: increasing capabilities
- 5.5. People carrying drones: a major software opportunity
- 5.6. Analytics software
- 5.7. Vertical or horizontal positioning? Which is better?
- 5.8. Software roadmap: drones in agriculture
- 5.9. Software roadmap: drone mapping (surveying, inspection, mining, real estate, 3D modeling, etc.)
- 5.10. Software roadmap: search and rescue
- 5.11. Software roadmap: delivery and logistics
- 5.12. Software roadmap: human carrying drone
- 5.13. Software landscape: DJI comes in, consolidation takes place
- 5.14. Using closed vs open source code
- 5.15. Open source movement in drone industry
- 5.16. Drone registration history in US
- 5.17. Increase in partnership, but not in hardware
- 5.18. Summary of important partnerships
6. DRONES: REGULATIONS
- 6.1. Regulations: what are the concerns? Who tries to regulate?
- 6.2. Recent state of regulations
- 6.3. Regulation comparison in some countries
- 6.4. Common operational limitations and technical prerequisites
- 6.5. VLOS, EVLOS, and BVLOS
- 6.6. Drone registration, flight approval, and pilot certificate
- 6.7. Hidden forces on regulation
- 6.8. US regulations: From 333 section exemptions to part 107 rules
- 6.9. Requirements of Part 107 in detail
- 6.10. Who owns the airspace above the land?
- 6.11. Obey FAA or state governments?
- 6.12. CAAC (China's FAA) regulations
- 6.13. BVLOS = Non-Cooperative detect and avoid
7. APPLICATIONS AND ROADMAP
- 7.1. Short-, medium-, and long-term market forecast by application (I)
- 7.2. Hype cycle for drone applications
- 7.3. Maturity level of airframe, sensor, and software for different applications
- 7.4. What is most needed technology for succeeding in each application?
8. DRONE APPLICATIONS: AGRICULTURE
- 8.1. Agriculture: a major market for drones?
- 8.2. The rise of data in agriculture
- 8.3. Data to transform agriculture's value chain
- 8.4. Agricultural mapping: are drones really suitable?
- 8.5. Satellite vs. drone mapping and scouting
- 8.6. Common drones used in agriculture for data acquisition
- 8.7. Agricultural drones: emergence of data analytics firms
- 8.8. Drones in agriculture: going beyond data acquisition
- 8.9. Unmanned drones in rice field pest control in Japan
- 8.10. Unmanned drones and helicopters for field spraying
- 8.11. New breed of drone sprayers emerge
- 8.12. Comparing different agricultural drones on the market
- 8.13. Drones in agriculture: past, present and future
9. DRONE APPLICATIONS: MAPPING AND MODELLING (FORESTRY, MINING, CONSTRUCTION, REAL ESTATE, INSPECTION, SURVEYING, ETC.)
- 9.1. Drone mapping and modelling
- 9.2. Forestry
- 9.3. Inspection
- 9.4. 3D Mapping and modelling
- 9.5. Land surveying
- 9.6. Real estate
- 9.7. Construction
- 9.8. Mining
- 9.9. Mapping applications roadmap
10. DRONE APPLICATIONS: EMERGENCY AND RESEARCH & RESCUE
- 10.1. Emergency management
- 10.2. Search and rescue: past, present and future
11. DRONE APPLICATIONS: DELIVERY AND LOGISTICS
- 11.1. Delivery and Logistics: past, present and future
- 11.2. Why drone-based last mile delivery?
- 11.3. What different companies think about drone-based delivery?
- 11.4. Trends in charts: rise of e-commerce, fall of department stores, and accelerated closure of commercial real estates
- 11.5. Development timeline of drone use in last mile or remote area delivery
- 11.6. Amazon: Will it make drones as common as mail trucks in the future?
- 11.7. Matternet: transition from humanitarian remote delivery to commercial delivery in Europe?
- 11.8. Zipline: fix-wing drones making medina delivery to remote areas
12. DRONE APPLICATIONS: CARRYING PEOPLE
- 12.1. People carrying
- 12.2. People carrying drones: past, present and future
13. DRONE MARKET FORECASTS (HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE)
- 13.1. Consumer drones: ten-year market forecast
- 13.2. Procedure explained
- 13.3. Agricultural drones: ten-year market forecast
- 13.4. Drones in Real estate: ten-year market forecast
- 13.5. Drones in construction: ten-year market forecasts
- 13.6. Inspection market: ten-year market forecasts
- 13.7. Emergency market
- 13.8. Drone delivery market
- 13.9. Drone People carrying market
- 13.10. Total drone hardware market by application: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 13.11. Total drone software market by application: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 13.12. Total drone hardware market by application in unit numbers: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 13.13. Summarizing table
- 13.14. Comparing drone aggregated market value with technology giants and Saudi Arabia's oil market value
14. FORECASTS FOR COMPONENTS IN DRONES
- 14.1. Electronic Speed Controllers market in drones split by current rating (low, mid and high): short, medium and long term forecasts
- 14.2. Brushless DC motor market in drones (ten year forecast) by power range
- 14.3. Motor Brushless DC motor market in drones (ten year forecast) by power range
- 14.4. Brushless DC Motor market in drones (ten year forecast) by power range
- 14.5. Gimbals in drones: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 14.6. HD video camera market in drones: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 14.7. Cameras for First Person View(FPV) and Navigation: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 14.8. Thermal and multispectral camera market: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 14.9. GPS module for drone market: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 14.10. Lidar for drone market: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 14.11. Radar for drones market: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 14.12. IMUs in drones: short, medium and long term forecasts
- 14.13. ADS-B transponder for drone: short, medium and long term forecasts
15. COMPANY PROFILES
- 15.1. 3D Robotics
- 15.2. Aerovironment
- 15.3. Aeryon Lab
- 15.4. Agribotix
- 15.5. Airware
- 15.6. Deadalean
- 15.7. Delait-Tech
- 15.8. DJI
- 15.9. DroneShield
- 15.10. Ehang
- 15.11. Exyn technologies
- 15.12. Flyability
- 15.13. Hoversurf
- 15.14. Kray Technologies
- 15.15. Mothership Aero
- 15.16. Nightingale Security
- 15.17. OPTELOS
- 15.18. Parrot
- 15.19. Precision Hawk
- 15.20. Sky-Futures
- 15.21. SiteAware
- 15.22. Stream Technologies
- 15.23. TwingTec
- 15.24. UAV Factory
- 15.25. Unifly
- 15.26. vHive
- 15.27. Yuneec