The annual market for civil unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is set to almost triple in size from around $5 billion in 2019 to $14.5 billion in 2028, according to a new Teal Group report. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 12.5 percent and a total market value of approximately $96.7 billion over the 10-year period.
Teal Group’s World Civil Unmanned Aerial Systems Market Profile & Forecast, published on July 17, shows that although consumer systems are the largest sector overall at 55 percent of the total, the fastest growth is anticipated in the commercial sector. Major sectors expected to increase drone use significantly include agriculture, construction, insurance, energy, communications, and delivery. Overall, the commercial segment of the world market for civil UAS is projected to grow by 21.9 percent from $1.6 billion in 2019 to $9.5 billion in 2028.
The Teal study did not include electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that are expected to carry passengers and operate autonomously. It does include civil government UAS applications and low-cost, high-altitude UAS to support internet operations.
According to Teal, 2019 is set to surpass the 2017 record of $548.6 million in venture capital investment in the UAS sector, with $285 million raised this year so far. The research group says that the highly competitive and fast-growing market has begun to consolidate. It predicts that as many as 80 percent of companies involved in the civil UAS sector today will be out of the business within five years.
The complex regulatory environment for UAS development and operations is identified by Teal as a big factor in how the industry will progress over the next decade. In this regard, the report argues that the U.S. is currently making the most progress and that this has been a factor attracting foreign UAS companies to establish operations in the country.