A new report forecasts that the commercial drone market will exceed $15.1 billion by 2027.

The Strategy Analytics Advanced Defense Systems (ADS) service report, “Commercial UAS Market Outlook 2017-2027” predicts that 49% of demand for commercial drone platforms by 2027 will be in the agriculture, commercial security and first responder sectors.

The report also predicts that Europe, Asia Pacific and North America will account for over 83% of the total global demand.

The report cautions, however, that regulatory frameworks may not evolve to support the drone industry.

“To achieve mass adoption of commercial UAS platforms across government and enterprises and achieve this $15 billion potential will be almost singularly contingent upon the establishment of favorable regulatory frameworks,” noted Asif Anwar, Director of the ADS service. “Existing regulations that currently underpin the use of UAS platforms will need to evolve and expand, especially as drone usage enables applications that require sharing of civilian airspace as well as the ground infrastructure currently used exclusively by manned aircraft.”

Sensor Payload Market Grows Faster than Drone Market

The report predicts that “associated demand for mission sensor payloads” will see “faster growth than the UAS market itself as platforms are increasingly equipped with the ability to swap multiple sensors on a plug and play basis.”

As the technology improves and the applications expand, increased adoption will drive a market for “dedicated sensors and associated technologies including satellite datalinks to allow beyond line of sight flight, sense and avoid systems underpinned by radar, LiDAR and EO-IR technologies and machine learning/artificial intelligence based processing.”

“Commercial UAS Market Outlook 2017-2027 presents the outlook for global commercial UAS platforms in terms of overall expenditure, as well as detailing expected shipments and associated demand for the mission sensor payloads,” says an ADS press release. “Further segmentation of the market in terms of platform, application and sensor types is also presented. The underlying numerical data is available in the Global Commercial UAS Market and Technology Forecast: 2017 – 2027 data model.”

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