Global UAV market is likely grow at a CAGR of around 12.31% during the forecast period. In 2016, the market is led by Americas with a share of 55%, followed by EMEA with 27%, and APAC with 18%.
UAVs, also commonly referred as drones, are the ones without a human pilot aboard. The flight is controlled either autonomously, or by an on-board computer, or by remote control from the ground or another vehicle. The UAVs range from large sized UAVs used for tactical missions that are powered by internal combustion engine to small electric-powered UAVs driven by electric motors
These small electric-powered UAVs are currently mainly used for military and defense applications. Without combustion, these electric-powered UAVs are low sound producing, hence found to be more suitable for the spy missions. In addition, there has been increasing interest for civilian or commercial applications of UAVs for applications such as aerial photography, agriculture, 3D mapping, wildlife protection etc.
Global UAV Market 2015 (USD Billion)
One of the key drivers for global UAV market is the cost effectiveness of UAVs to acquire and operate in comparison to manned aircraft and helicopters, for various military as well as commercial applications. Moreover, the UAVs (mainly electrically powered) make comparatively low noise during flight, which makes these UAVs very suitable for the spy missions. Furthermore, there has been an increase in global UAV spending and demand for small UAVs which has driven the market growth.
However, the market also faces certain challenges such as low endurance and limited flight range of the UAVs (mainly the small electric-powered UAVs). Low endurance limits the operability to a small limited area, as after a certain distance the UAV has to be brought back to the base to recharge or replacement of the battery pack. Also, the strict regulations regarding the civilian and commercial applications of UAVs have hampered the wide scale integration of such UAVs for commercial applications. Many of the countries still do not allow the commercial use of UAVs at majority of areas (mostly urban and near airports).
Despite the challenges, there has been a growing demand for small UAVs for civil, commercial, as well as military applications. In addition, there has been an increase in UAV R&D, which stimulate the spending in the market as well as provide improvements in the technology. Currently, the US leads the global market; however, there has been rising demand from the emerging markets as well, mainly from the Middle East and Asia.
“Optimal Price Point (OPP) for Unmanned Aerial vehicle (UAV)”
Estimated Average solution cost – $ xx globally. However, with growth in demand for UAV beyond EU and U.S., OPP and range of acceptable Prices (RAP) are going to change. We at Ameri Research continuously track these prices with our proprietary pricing model.
Merger and Acquisition
In today’s fast moving technology market, it has become essential to maintain strategic partnership or invest in UAV portfolios. Of late the industry has seen new partnerships, investments and merger & acquisition. Commercial UAV / drone sector are the one driving the industry. In 2011, Parrot (leading drone maker) has acquired DiBcom (a technology company specializes in high performance integrated chips). In 2015, Qualcomm (semiconductor giant) has acquired aerial robotics company KMel Robotics with the objective to expand its activities around drones. In Jan 2016, Intel has acquired Ascending Technologies, the two companies had already engaged in a close partnership to improve UAV sense and avoid systems.
As per Teal Group’s study, UAV spending will be more than double over the next decade. Thus encouraging key industry players and new entrant to drive innovation in drone technology. The development of mini UAVs, solar powered UAVs, multirotor drone, underwater UAVs, and tactical & special purpose UAVs has allowed vendors to explore ocean of opportunities in the technology space. Smaller companies successfully compete with larger players, as AI Corp., AeroVironment, and General Atomics in the making of UAV payloads thus driving competition.
In 2016, the three leading chip makers (Intel, Qualcomm, and Ambarella) have showed interest in drone sector, with their key offerings to further enhance drone operations and accuracy. These technology includes: collision-avoidance technology, drone’s video capability and sense & target system.