Plethora of Opportunities to Grow for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Market as Commercial Applications Rise in Scope

February 2020
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Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, as they are usually called, are computer-controlled flying devices capable of carrying light payloads such as a camera or transmitting equipment. The early development of unmanned aerial vehicles was centered on their utility in reconnaissance and mapping. However, in modern times they have exceeded their traditional boundaries to become vital instruments in telecommunications, meteorology, urban mass transit management, and more. The growing application range of drones is the primary driver for the global unmanned aerial vehicles market, as the increasing number of demand avenues is likely to spur demand from the market at a rapid growth rate.


The telecommunications industry has witnessed a supreme growth spurt in the last few years as the demand has grown for widespread coverage of broadband and mobile connectivity, especially in emerging regions. In developed regions, the telecommunications industry has been driven by the increasing interest in technological updation, including the widespread rollout of 5G and other progressive upgrades. Consequently, the demand for telecommunications infrastructure maintenance and management has grown rapidly. The unmanned aerial vehicles market is likely to benefit from this growing demand over the coming years, as the growing demand for effective maintenance of towers and other communications equipment has driven the demand for aerial surveillance via drones.

Aerial unmanned vehicles present several advantages in comparison to manual labor when it comes to the matter of telecommunications equipment maintenance, including lower risk, more comprehensive checking, and lower costs. Manual tower climbs for maintenance purposes can cost anywhere from USD 2000 to 5000 per inspection; using unmanned aerial vehicles reduces this cost to up to a third, resulting in significant monetary savings. The use of a robotic instrument also eliminates the risk factor for human workers and allows for a more detailed investigation of construction and upkeep issues.

Oil and Gas:

The oil and gas industry has also started making use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles on a large scale for checkups and maintenance of oil industry rigs and other equipment, which presents similar advantages as those in the telecommunications industry, namely lower risk and costs and higher level of detail in the maintenance and upkeep. The rising demand for petroleum refineries and natural gas processing has driven up the demand for flare stacks, which is likely to remain a key driver for the unmanned aerial vehicles market over the forecast period. The increasing risk level in extracting petroleum in unconventional ways is further likely to drive the adoption of unmanned aerial vehicles in the oil and gas industry over the coming years.

Unmanned aerial vehicles are also massively useful for the oil and gas industry in scanning prospective sites for oil and gas exploration, as drones can provide clear 3D imaging as well as LiDAR support. The ease of incorporating satellite data about the ground depth and other geological parameters into the operating system of unmanned aerial vehicles is likely to make the latter a mainstay in the global oil and gas industry in the coming years.

Smart Cities:

The growing demand for smart city infrastructure is likely to drive the demand for unmanned aerial vehicles over the coming years for urban planning and transit management purposes. Smart city management is likely to require constant surveillance systems, which could either be static cameras or, more innovatively, an army of drones scanning the city for any signs of traffic congestion or other disturbances.


The increasing use of drones for delivery purposes by e-commerce giants such as Amazon has already revolutionized how the e-commerce sector operates, and further updates are expected along the line in this field, as more e-commerce players are likely to use unmanned aerial vehicles for delivery purposes in the near future.

What can be definitely said about the unmanned aerial vehicles market is that the predominance of the military sector in the market is now a thing of the past. Commercial applications provide far more revenue generation opportunities to the unmanned aerial vehicles market and are likely to further grow in demand and scope over the coming years, leading to stable growth of the unmanned aerial vehicles market.

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