There has been an increase in drone investment over the past 4-5 years at the time of writing. There have been increases in hardware, particularly from 2018-2019, as capabilities in analytical software and machine learning lead to wider use cases and adoption of drone hardware. Furthermore, with drone technology being accessible to the general public, there has been an increase in investment around consumer drones and lower price point products.
With this increase in investment comes a wide range of products. Different drones have different applications. Rotary drones are typically more of an efficient design for smaller drone sizes. With four fixed-pitch props, there are few moving parts and thus reducing the cost of the drone. However, this design does not scale up very well. As a result of this, fixed-wing drones are typically used for longer distances, where less dynamic handling is required. Use cases include surveying or mapping, where the drone can follow a fixed path and map a large area whilst remaining in the VLOS of the drone pilot.
One of the key technologies which affect the adoption and use of a drone is its software and analytical capabilities. For example, the deployment of AI to enable improved image recognition is an increasingly important feature in many products. There are companies surrounding the drone hardware market whose software is used to analyze data captured from a drone or to help the drone to navigate through its variety of sensors.
Drones typically capture images. Software is required to identify what is in each image, and how this will impact the user. For example, if a drone is mapping a crop field, it will need software to help it navigate the field. Machine learning is required to analyze the vast quantities of data captured by high-resolution cameras on the drone. In the case of mapping crop fields, it could identify diseases in the crop field, allowing the farmer to act accordingly. In 2020, there has been a pivot towards more advanced technologies and algorithms which assist the drone in capturing, flying, and subsequently analyzing what is in its environment. Advancements in Big Data and machine learning have allowed for a range of new software companies to come to market with new third-party software to allow users to use drone hardware that they already own.
- What are the main use cases for drones in 2030, 2040?
- Who are the major players in the drone market?
- What are the key drivers for market growth?
- What is the projected revenue for the drones market from 2020 onwards?
- What is the drone market segmentation?
- What is the drone segmentation between consumer and commercial drones?