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Benefits of commercial drones and upcoming major trends

July 30, 2020  - By
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In many ways, 2020 would be another big year for commercial drones. The market has witnessed slow and steady growth over the years, and according to Allied Market Research, the global commercial drone market is expected to reach $10.73 million by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 26.2% from 2016 to 2022. This exponential growth is due to the high demand for cost-effective, energy-saving and eco-friendly OLED lighting coupled with growth in display and large screen backlit market. On the other hand, the outbreak of COVID-19 has reshaped every other industry and business function in the world and the commercial drone industry is no exception.

Use of commercial drones during COVID-19 pandemic

Even though complete ramifications of COVID-19 are not clear, some impacts of the standstill of the global economy beginning to be felt. Needless to say, the drastic changes in the drone industry are imminent and the market players would feel them over the coming years.

Search & rescue mission

Initially, several countries used commercial drones for search and rescue missions. Moreover, some countries used them spanning deserts and high population areas. As drones have the potential to visualize and communicate with complicated areas, the demand for them increased to supervise the dense and urban areas during the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak when panic was taking its root. Thanks to drone technology, officers could easily scan an area and broadcast necessary instruction if the area is infected while maintaining the safety of the officials.

Delivery of essentials

Since the declaration of a pandemic, the local governments have asked citizens to maintain a safe distance and limit the exposure to the virus. This greatly affected the food and package delivery systems, as it may be a potential factor of contamination. Although drone package deliveries are not used across the globe, few tests in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic have proven to effective. The use of commercial drones is encouraging as most of the commercial drones can be modified with payload drop mechanism and used for package deliveries without risking both parties. The package delivery system by drones is particularly important in areas where the presence of the virus is imminent such as hospitals that actively treat the virus.

Disinfection of public areas

The use of commercial drones is effective in disinfecting area. Even though more information about the virus is being discovered, the officials have declared that it can survive on hard surfaces such as chairs and buses. Thus, public places pose a huge risk of infection. To prevent further spread and disinfect public areas, some countries have deployed agriculture spraying drones filled with disinfectant instead of pesticides.

Apart from this, the entire country of China has implemented commercial drones to perform simple temperature check processes before admitting visitors into the building. As the major symptom of the virus is fever, the use of commercial drones to spot potential patients without compromising the safety of anyone.

Major trends in the commercial drone industry

The increase in counter-drone solutions has almost doubled in the past year and its market is expected to grow rapidly in 2020. Urban air mobility has been a buzzword since the rise of the commercial drone market. In addition, drone deliveries have already started in the U.S., Ghana and Australia. Developing countries such as China and India have actively used drones for drugs and food delivery. In the future, the development of passenger drones will demand more funding to get certified, boosting the passenger drone market.

The increased popularity of drones would press the government to review regulations regarding unmanned vehicles. In the next five years, commercial drones would enter in unmanned traffic management and remote identification.

In the coming years, the adoption of aerial drones and commercial drones are likely to enter various market apart from healthcare, agriculture, and entertainment. Instead, it will grow in industries such as insurance, public safety and first responders, and mining.

Apart from this, the advancements in imaging sensors and aerial imaging software are expected to improve artificial capabilities. Currently, the majority of the technologies applied in commercial drones include cloud-based machine learning and AI-based drones are still in the development stage. The increased adoption of drones and advancements in sensor technology and automation will open new opportunities in the coming years.

Thanks to the early hype about commercial drones and how they hold the potential to transform industries, there will be a huge investment in the market to make such forecasts in reality. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of commercial drones has increased. Over the last few years, there was public distrust in the technology. However, the benefits of use of drones during pandemic have reduced some concerns about commercial drones. In addition, new governmental regulations regarding the use of unmanned vehicles clear the misunderstandings and concerns about drones with safety and privacy. However, one thing is sure, despite the tragic start of the new decade, the COVID-19 pandemic has been favorable for the commercial drone market and is expected to bring opportunities in the future.

Get detailed COVID-19 impact analysis on the commercial drone market here.


Swamini Kulkarni holds a medical bachelor’s degree from Pune University, and works as a content writer exploring the impact of technology on human life.


Feature image: lakshmiprasad S/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

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