Research firm ABI Research is predicting the drone industry will be worth a whopping $92 billion by 2030 despite COVID shutting down the world. The growth is expected to be a result of Remote ID being rolled out and the use of 5G in drone operations.

COVID has had an impact on the drone industry with shipping issues and a slower rollout of drones and related technologies in the commercial world. On the upside, COVID has had more of a positive effect allowing drones to shine like never before, especially with deliveries and logistics.

Looking to the future, three major aspects will ensure the drone industry as a whole will grow and advance further into everyday life. New regulatory changes, like the drone registration happening down under, the rollout of Remote ID in the US, and the introduction of 5G into the world of commercial drone operations.

Rian Whitton, Senior Robotics Analyst at ABI Research said:

“We have gone through various phases of the drone industry, from its genesis in the military to the proliferation of consumer drones. Since Chinese developer DJI monopolized that space, the attention has shifted to commercial applications. While some of the initial hype has subsided, providers and end-users are refocusing on developing the necessary supporting infrastructure and services to make drone technology viable at scale.”

The drone industry is set to have an annual compound growth rate of 25% over the $9.5 billion in revenue for 2020. Of the estimated $92 billion, 70% is expected to be the commercial sector alone, with the other 30% made up of recreational and toy-grade drones.

Looking at the current drone registrations stats around the world, the US currently has 1.7 million consumer drones pilots and another 400,000 commercial pilots. The EU has over 1 million registrants, while China is slowly catching up with 400,000 registered drones.

COVID’s impact

Drones have been present throughout the global pandemic, with some saying that this demonstrates how truly useful drones are. Recently, the University of California San Diego (UCSD) developed a disinfecting drone with UV-C lights. Many countries are using drones to disinfect public areas, along with monitoring busy areas to ensure people are following social distancing rules.

Photo: Jorge Salvador

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