Drone market taking off with promising demand from commercial sector
The market for UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), commonly known as drones, is growing quickly thanks to the diversification of products. Demand for consumer, entertainment, professional and commercial-use drones has been gradually emerging.
According to Gartner, almost three million personal and commercial drones will be produced in 2017, 39% more than in 2016. Global revenues for the market are expected to increase 34% to exceed US$6 billion in 2017, and grow further to surpass US$11.2 billion by 2020, said the market research firm.
Drones for commercial purpose have a high technology threshold due to the importance of security and efficiency. Commercial drones normally have a higher payload, longer flight times, and are equipped with a significant amount of sensors and flight controllers. And with higher prices, enterprise drones are shipped in a smaller volume than consumer drones.
The commercial drone market potential has actually drawn the attention of well-known companies, such as Amazon.
Amazon UAV express delivery: Successful trials in the UK and US
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2013 announced the company’s plans to start offering deliveries using drones. As Amazon began to develop drones in the early stages of market development, the company has a lot of patents in the field. One of the patents allows drones to collect data through the sensors provided and receive data from other drones nearby. Data such as location, heading, altitude, etc. will enable drones to independently understand the surrounding environment, which help drones to develop coping strategies when facing danger.
Another recently published patent is related to composite wing UAV. Composite wing drones have both multi-axis and fixed-wing features. By utilizing the concept, Amazon’s delivery drones combines vertical lift and horizontal flight capabilities. The advantage of vertical lift is to be able to take off and land without runways, while horizontal flight provides speed and efficiency, and a higher payload to facilitate the delivery of various equipment and supplies. Amazon has not published its model using this patented design, and its follow-up is expected.