In the last decade, a drone industry has emerged, with a total economic impact estimated to be around $11.7 billion by 2020. The demand for drones is expected to rise significantly as more drones are manufactured and used for commercial purposes.
Various factors, such as regulations on commercial use of drones in different regions, government policies and subsidies offered in these regions, could shape the future of this industry.
Government Policy and Subsidies
A number of countries have implemented policies to spur growth in the drone market. The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States launched the ‘Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program’ in 2015 to enable research and development of drones as well as their integration into the national airspace system.
Ireland announced a €6 million investment in 2016 to establish the world’s first Unmanned Flight Operations Support Centre at Dublin City University.
Autonomous drones, which can operate without remote control, have the potential to impact the drone market because they are less expensive to produce, have a higher capacity, are easier to handle, and are safer because they do not require human pilots.
Battery life and range are two of the most significant barriers to the advancement of drone technology. Current batteries are incapable of keeping up with rapid advancements in drone technology, such as obstacle avoidance or internet connectivity, both of which necessitate more processing power.
A new generation of batteries must be developed that can meet the demands of modern drones without requiring significant changes in manufacturing processes or adding weight.
Potential Humanitarian Uses
They can be used in a variety of humanitarian aid operations, such as monitoring deforestation and delivering critical medicines or food to disaster areas.
In 2015, the Red Cross launched a project to deliver vaccines and other medical supplies to remote villages using drones.
Oxfam is also testing drone technology as part of their Drones for Good initiative. They discovered that drones can be extremely effective at reaching difficult-to-reach communities and providing vital data to aid workers on the ground.
There are numerous factors that can influence the drone industry. As a result, drones can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from humanitarian to commercial.
The market is rapidly expanding, with an increasing number of start-ups entering the market. The future of this industry is still uncertain due to the technological advancements that will be required to keep up with the demand for heavier-duty drones.