DRONES: Startups, venture-capital firms, and major global companies are rushing headlong into the burgeoning drones industry

BIIEconomicImpact_DronesBI Intelligence

Some of the world’s top industrial firms — including Qualcomm, Intel, GE, and Boeing — have already invested in startups focused on drones, and the space is heating up as venture-capital money and international firms pile in. The industry will generating $2.3 billion in investments in the US market in 2016.  

In an in-depth report from BI Intelligence, we take a deep dive into the various levels of the growing global industry for commercial drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This 32-page report provides an exclusive list and profiles of dozens of notable companies already active in the space. 

It also provides forecasts for the business opportunity in commercial-drone technology, looks at advances and persistent barriers, highlights the top business-to-business markets in terms of applications and end users, and digs into the current state of US regulation of commercial drones, recently upended by the issuing of the Federal Aviation Administration’s draft rules for commercial-drone flights. Few people know that many companies are already authorized to fly small drones commercially under a US government “exemption” program. We provide a list of these, and the UAV models they are operating.  

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Here are some of the main takeaways from the report: 

  • The global commercial drone market will take shape around applications in a handful of industries: agriculture, energy, utilities, mining, construction, real estate, news media, and film production. 
  • Most growth in the drone industry is on the commercial/civilian side, as the shift away from the military market gains momentum. The market for commercial/civilian drones will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% between 2015 and 2020, compared with 5% growth on the military side. 
  • E-commerce and package delivery will not be an early focus of the drone industry. 
  • Legacy drone manufacturers focused mostly on military clients do not have a natural advantage in the fast-evolving civilian drone market. 
  • Proposed US regulation would effectively end the ban on commercial drone flights and would allow low-altitude flights of small drones within view of a ground-based pilot. The rules are unlikely to be finalized before early 2017. Some believe it will happen earlier. But we believe it most likely that widespread though heavily restricted commercial UAV flights will become routine sometime that year. 
  • Technology barriers are at once a roadblock and a huge business opportunity. 
  • DJIPhantom2DJIA drone manufactured by Shenzhen-based DJI

    Many of the notable early commercial UAV manufacturers are emerging outside of the US market: These include Switzerland-based senseFly (owned by France-based Parrot), Canadian firm Aeryon, publicly traded Swedish firm CybAero, Shenzhen, China-based DJI, and Korea-based Gryphon. 
  • The commercial-drone industry is still young but has begun to see some consolidation and major investments from large industrial conglomerates, chip companies, and defense contractors.  

In full, the report: 

  • Contains two detailed tables listing all the US companies already authorized to fly drones commercially, the brand/model of UAVs they’ll use, and the applications they’re supporting
  • Details the implications of the FAA’s new proposed rules for commercial drones
  • Explores the top applications for commercial drones and why they have emerged as niches friendly to UAV technology
  • Lists the high-level attributes of UAV systems and hardware, and why there are certain obstacles that remain difficult
  • Contains charts on commercial-drone market size, FAA exemptions, and direct economic impact

To access the full report from BI Intelligence, sign up for a full-access 14-day trial here. Full-access members also gain access to new in-depth reports, hundreds of charts, as well as daily newsletters on the digital industry.

Get THE DRONES REPORT now! Commercial drones are already a reality. BI Intelligence takes an in-depth look at the most important aspects, including market forecasts for commercial applications, regulatory process, and the leading players. Get the Report Here »

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