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A Roadmap for Drone Market Growth, 2017-2025

  • ID: 4205244
  • Report
  • April 2017
  • Region: Global
  • 116 pages
  • Datacomm Research Company
Why Isn’t the Drone Market Taking Off? - New Study Identifies Multiple Fixable Problems


  • 3D Robotics
  • Avisight
  • EHang
  • Intrinsyc
  • OpenROV
  • SkyTango

The potential market for drones is large. But the near-term outlook is mixed. Based on dozens of interviews with manufacturers and users, this report takes a cold, hard look at the regulatory, technical, and business challenges. Best case, worst case, and most likely case forecasts are presented for market growth by segment through 2025. More than 100 pioneering vendors and organizations are profiled.

The U.S. drone industry has hit an obstacle: The Federal Aviation Administration. Little progress has been made since Congress directed the FAA to accommodate commercial unmanned aircraft five years ago. The FAA is keeping the drone industry occupied developing solutions to problems that don’t yet exist. Congress should limit the FAA’s jurisdiction over drones and give greater authority to the states. That is one conclusion of the new 115-page study, A Roadmap for Drone Market Growth, 2017-2025. "The potential global market for drones is huge and the U.S. should be leading the way, but the FAA’s bureaucracy, timidity, and one-size-fits-all rules are preventing the industry from getting off the ground,” said Ira Brodsky, author of the report. “The FAA wants the industry to develop a comprehensive solution for managing skies filled with drones, when what the industry needs first is experience serving customers while ensuring safety and privacy. The best way to accomplish that is to allow local communities to decide when and where the benefits of drone use outweigh the risks,” he added.

A Roadmap for Drone Market Growth, 2017-2025 includes an Executive Summary identifying the factors driving and inhibiting growth in the hobby, professional, enterprise, and transport segments. The report details dozens of applications, describes the leading proposals for managing drone traffic, and explains why flight endurance and payload capacity are critical to market growth.

Additional highlights from the report include:

1. Segregating the airspace for unmanned and manned aircraft is a better starting point than integrating the airspace. Most commercial drones fly short distances at low altitudes. Most manned aircraft travel interstate, cruising at altitudes around 30,000 feet. Sense and avoid and situational awareness solutions will evolve as the market grows.

2. Opportunities are being missed for using drones to not only inspect infrastructure, but to assist installations and repairs. Needed are larger, more capable unmanned aerial vehicles.

About the Author

Ira Brodsky has published dozens of reports on new technologies and markets in telecommunications, life sciences, and power generation. His work has included identifying new markets, defining new products, developing competitive strategies, and influencing government policymakers. Brodsky has consulted for clients in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He was a regular columnist for Network World for ten years and has written five books on technology topics.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • 3D Robotics
  • Avisight
  • EHang
  • Intrinsyc
  • OpenROV
  • SkyTango

Executive Summary

I. Overcoming challenges

II. Factors driving the growth of drone sales

III. Factors inhibiting growth of drone market:

IV. Wildcard factors

V. Recommendations


I. Use cases
II. Market structure and forecasts


I. Regulations
A. Part 107 Rules

II. Integrating drones in the National Airspace System (NAS)
A. AirMap’s Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS)
B. Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety (LATAS)
C. NASA’s unmanned traffic management system (UTM)
D. Focus Area Pathfinders Initiative
E. FAA Civil UAS Roadmap (2013)
F. Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B)
G. Rules in Europe and elsewhere
H. Amazon airspace proposal
I. Google airspace proposal
J. High-end delivery systems

III. Safety, privacy, and security
A. Safety
B. Security
C. Privacy

Vendors and Organizations
1. 3D Robotics
2. AEE (Shenzhen AEE Technology CO., LTD)
3. Aerialtronics
4. Aerobo
5. AeroSight
6. Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)
7. Aerotas
8. AeroVironment
9. Aeryon Labs
10. AgEagle Aerial Systems
11. Aibotix
12. Airmap
13. Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA)
14. Airware
15. Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence
16. Amazon Prime Air
17. Ambarella
18. Aptonomy
19. Arcturus
20. Ascending Technologies
21. Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
22. Aurora Flight Sciences
23. Avisight
24. BirdsEyeView Aerobotics
25. BlueRobotics
26. Bluesky Aerial Mapping
27. Cheerson Hobby (Guangdong Cheerson Hobby Technology Co. Ltd)
28. Commercial Drone Alliance
29. Convexum
30. Cyberhawk Innovations
31. CyPhy Works
32. Data Wing
33. Dedrone
34. Delair-Tech
35. DIY Drones
36. DJI
37. Drone Airspace Management
38. Dronecode Project
39. DroneDeploy
40. Drone Racing League
41. DroneSeed
42. Dronestagram
43. EHang
44. Elbit Systems
45. enRoute Co.
46. Estes-Cox Corp. (Hobbico)
47. Event 38 Unmanned Systems
48. E-volo GmbH
49. Exponent Technology Services
50. Facebook
51. Federal Aviation Administration
52. FLIR Systems, Inc.
53. Flirtey
54. Flyability
55. FlyPro
56. Google Project Wing
57. GoPro
58. Harris Corp.
59. Hobbico, Inc. (Dromida)
60. Horizon Hobby (Blade)
61. Hover (Zero Zero Robotics)
62. Hubsan
63. Ideafly (Shenzhen Idea-Fly Technology Co., Ltd)
64. Intel
65. Intrinsyc
66. Kespry
67. Kittyhawk
68. Liquid Robotics
69. Liteye Systems
70. Lockheed Martin
71. Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety (LATAS)
72. Matternet
73. Measure
74. Microdrones GmbH
75. MicroMultiCopter Aero Technology (MMC)
76. Mobile Recon Systems
77. Mobilicom
78. MurphyUAV
79. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
80. NATS Limited
81. Neurala
82. Nightingale Security
83. Nordic Unmanned
84. Ocean Aero
85. Olaeris
86. OpenROV
87. Parrot
88. Persistent Systems
89. PowerVision
90. PrecisionHawk
91. Prodrone
92. Pro S3
93. Qaira
94. Qualcomm
95. Queen B Robotics
96. QuestUAV
97. Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA)
98. RPAS Portal
99. SenseFly
100. Simtoo
101. Skydio
102. Sky-Futures
103. SkyPan International
104. SkySafe
105. SkySpecs
106. SkyTango
107. SlantRange, Inc.
108. Small UAV Coalition
109. Spin Master Ltd. (Air Hogs)
110. Starship Technologies
111. Tayzu Robotics
112. Teal Drone
113. Top Flight Technologies
114. Trumbull Unmanned
115. Uplift Data Partners
116. Urban Aeronautics
117. VDOS Global
118. Velodyne LiDAR
119. Walkera
120. Workhorse Group Inc.
121. Xiaomi
122. Xiro
123. Yuneec
124. Zero Tech
125. Zipline

Figures & tables

Figure 1 Unmanned aircraft product positioning 
Figure 2 Example roadmap for drone market growth 
Figure 3 Worst case global drone market forecast, units by segment, 2017-2025 
Figure 4 Best case global drone market forecast, units by segment, 2017-2025 
Figure 5 Most likely case global drone market forecast, units by segment, 201720

Table 1 FAA vs state and local regulation 
Table 2 Battery vs gasoline power systems 
Table 3 Comparing Qualcomm, Intel, and NVIDIA processors 
Table 4 Infrastructure requiring periodic inspection 
Table 5 Comparison of rush/emergency delivery options 
Table 6 Comparison of low-end vs high-end unmanned aircraft 
Table 7 Classes of airspace 
Table 8 Comparison of drone airspace models (Amazon, Google, LATAS, and AirMap) 

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • 3D Robotics
  • AEE (Shenzhen AEE Technology CO., LTD)
  • Aerialtronics
  • AeroSight
  • AeroVironment
  • Aerobo
  • Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)
  • Aerotas
  • Aeryon Labs
  • AgEagle Aerial Systems
  • Aibotix
  • Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA)
  • AirMap
  • Airmap
  • Airware
  • Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence
  • Amazon
  • Amazon Prime Air
  • Ambarella
  • Aptonomy
  • Arcturus
  • Ascending Technologies
  • Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
  • Aurora Flight Sciences
  • Avisight
  • BirdsEyeView Aerobotics
  • BlueRobotics
  • Bluesky Aerial Mapping
  • Cheerson Hobby (Guangdong Cheerson Hobby Technology Co. Ltd)
  • Commercial Drone Alliance
  • Convexum
  • CyPhy Works
  • Cyberhawk Innovations
  • DIY Drones
  • DJI
  • Data Wing
  • Dedrone
  • Delair-Tech
  • Drone Airspace Management
  • Drone Racing League
  • DroneDeploy
  • DroneSeed
  • Dronecode Project
  • Dronestagram
  • E-volo GmbH
  • EHang
  • Elbit Systems
  • enRoute Co.
  • Estes-Cox Corp. (Hobbico)
  • Event 38 Unmanned Systems
  • Exponent Technology Services
  • FLIR Systems, Inc.
  • Facebook
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Flirtey
  • FlyPro
  • Flyability
  • GoPro
  • Google
  • Google Project Wing
  • Harris Corp.
  • Hobbico, Inc. (Dromida)
  • Horizon Hobby (Blade)
  • Hover (Zero Zero Robotics)
  • Hubsan
  • Ideafly (Shenzhen Idea-Fly Technology Co., Ltd)
  • Intel
  • Intrinsyc
  • Kespry
  • Kittyhawk
  • Liquid Robotics
  • Liteye Systems
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety (LATAS)
  • Matternet
  • Measure
  • MicroMultiCopter Aero Technology (MMC)
  • Microdrones GmbH
  • Mobile Recon Systems
  • Mobilicom
  • MurphyUAV
  • NASA
  • NATS Limited
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Neurala
  • Nightingale Security
  • Nordic Unmanned
  • Ocean Aero
  • Olaeris
  • OpenROV
  • Parrot
  • Persistent Systems
  • PowerVision
  • PrecisionHawk
  • Pro S3
  • Prodrone
  • Qaira
  • Qualcomm
  • Queen B Robotics
  • QuestUAV
  • RPAS Portal
  • Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA)
  • SenseFly
  • Simtoo
  • Sky-Futures
  • SkyPan International
  • SkySafe
  • SkySpecs
  • SkyTango
  • Skydio
  • SlantRange, Inc.
  • Small UAV Coalition
  • Spin Master Ltd. (Air Hogs)
  • Starship Technologies
  • Tayzu Robotics
  • Teal Drone
  • Top Flight Technologies
  • Trumbull Unmanned
  • Uplift Data Partners
  • Urban Aeronautics
  • VDOS Global
  • Velodyne LiDAR
  • Walkera
  • Workhorse Group Inc.
  • Xiaomi
  • Xiro
  • Yuneec
  • Zero Tech
  • Zipline
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown