Military Embedded Systems

Civil drone production predicted to triple over next decade


October 30, 2020

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

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FAIRFAX, Va. Civil Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are predicted to be the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade as commercial applications take off and civil governments adopt systems for new roles in border security and public safety.

Teal Group’s 2020/2021 World Civil UAS Market Profile and Forecast forecasts that non-military UAS production will total $108 billion in the next decade, rising from $5 billion worldwide in 2020 to $18.4 billion in 2029, a 15.6% compound annual growth rate in constant dollars.

Technology companies like Intel, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Apple as well as venture capitalists have spent more than $2.8 billion into drone startups from 2012 to 2019, according to the Teal Group study. The study predicts that commercial use will drive the market. Deployment of fleets are driving more than a 21% compound annual growth rate for commercial UAS production over the ten-year forecast. 

According to the forecast, delivery as a premium service could lead market growth in the United States, with the segment predicted to emerge as the leader by the end of the forecast period. Agriculture is outlined to be the leading sector overseas by 2029, and construction could become the largest segment of industrial inspection over the next decade.

U.S. start-ups have received 65% of the funding over the period with a focus on drone analytics, Chinese firms receiving 16% of the investment are focused on developing hardware for commercial systems, and European investment is behind at 9%, according to the study.


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