The drone industry is booming.
Drones are being sold in record numbers and taking to the skies. The FAA projects that there will be more than 1.2 million drones by the end of 2018 in the US alone.
Consumer drones are becoming mainstream while commercial adoption increases rapidly across a range of industries.
There are still hurdles in terms of safety, privacy, and insurance, the drone market is showing no signs of slowing down.
Here are 33 interesting stats about drones:
How Many Drones Have Been Sold In The US?
According to the FAA, there were around 1.1 million drones in the United States as of December 31, 2017. By 2019, that number will reach 2 million. Source: FAA
- The number of drones is expected to more than double over the next year to more than 2.4 million units. – FAA
- Globally there are more than 3 million drones sold in 2017. – Time
- In 2016, there were 788,570 drones in the United States. Shows year-over-year growth rate of about around 40%. – FAA
- Leveraging drones can increase safety on a construction site by 55% – Drone Deploy Report
- Drones can inspect up to 1,000 acres of farmland a day – Source: Goldman Sachs Research
- Drones drones have saved the lives of at least 133 people around the world. – DJI
- This substantial growth rate is driven by the consumer market and stems from falling equipment prices, improved technology such as built-in cameras, and the relative ease of piloting. – FAA
How Much is the Drone Industry Worth?
The drone industry is expected to grow to more than $82.1 billion in annual revenue by 2025. This will be largely driven by the consumer market, according to The Economic Report.
- Commercial drones represent just 6% of all drone sales in the US, but make up 60% of the drone industry revenue due to their high price points relative to consumer models. – Economist
- The fastest growing commercial adopters of aerial data come from the construction, agriculture, and mining industries. – Drone Deploy Report
How Many Commercial Drone Pilots Are There?
The FAA announced that there were more than 122,000 commercial drone pilots in early 2018. Combined with the 878,000 hobbyists, there were more than 1 million total drone registrations.
- Since the launch of online registration, more than 110,000 commercial operators had registered their equipment by the end of 2017 – FAA
- For each week the registration has been available, over 1,000 aircraft have been registered – FAA
- Non-model UAS are primarily used for aerial imaging and data collection, including real estate photography (48%), industrial and utility inspection (28%), and agricultural applications (17%), including crop inspection – FAA
- Increasingly, state and local governments are using UAS for emergency services, including search and rescue operations, and presently employ around 3% of all non-model UAS. – FAA
- 90% of Commercial Mapping Still Occurs on Drone Models that Cost $1500 or Less – Drone Deploy Report
- DJI generated more than $2.83 billion in 2017 which represented an 80% increase from 2016. – TechNode
How Many Drones Has DJI Sold?
DJI has a stronghold on the US drone market with more than 66% market share of drones priced between $1,000-$2,000 and 67% of the market for drones from $2,000 to $4,000. – Recode
- DJI remains the leader in the commercial drone market with an estimated market share of up to 85% – Drone Deploy Report
- DJI is based in Shenzen, China, however 80% of their products are sold overseas. – Business Times
- Global UAV Sense and Avoid System Market Anticipated to Reach $3.6 billion by 2022 – BIS Research
- Sense and avoid systems allow drones to detect any obstacles in their flightpath and avoid them. The sense and avoid systems use a combination of cameras, radar, LiDAR and other components to detect and successfully avoid the obstacles. –Gartner
- The 10 critical components include: sensors, software, AI & algorithms, motors/actuators, processing, wireless networks, material science, navigation, memory, energy management and storage –Gartner
- Businesses and civil governments spend $13 billion on drones between now and 2020 – Source: Goldman Sachs Research
- Between now and 2020, Goldman Sach’s forecasts a $100 billion market opportunity for drones—helped by growing demand from the commercial and civil government sectors. – Source: Goldman Sachs Research
- Top industries for drone job opportunities include Construction, Agriculture, Insurance, Oil/Gas, Police – Source: Goldman Sachs Research
- “Tremendous opportunities for growth in employment associated with commercial activities of the UAS. ” – FAA
- Consumer grade dominates the non-commercial, with a market share approaching 98% – FAA
- The Low Altitude Authorization and Notification which is currently in testing, is designed to allow considerable flexibility in UAS operations and incorporate recreational hobbyists as well commercial usecases. – FAA
- Applications requires waivers for night operations (86% of all waivers granted), operation of multiple unmanned aircraft by one pilot (1.5%), and operation above current altitude limits (1.3%) – FAA
- Almost 13,000 airspace authorizations and waivers were approved for UAS operations in controlled airspaces by the end of December 2017 – FAA
- Remote Pilot Certifications are issued in accordance with the FAA’s Part 107 and are used primarily to facilitate non-model sUAS flights for commercial activities. – FAA
- As of December 2017, more than 73,000 Remote Pilot Certifications were issued. Over 90% of individuals who took the required aeronautical knowledge exam passed and obtained an RPC. – FAA
- The FAA introduced rules requiring drone pilots to register to a national database. The regulation was briefly paused when a judge shot down the rule, however it was reinstated in 2017 National Defence Authorization bill – TechCrunch
- By the end of May 2017, more than 772,000 owners had already registered with the FAA.