Goldman Sachs has published its view on the drone market, with research from various sources suggesting the UK market for drones will be $3.5 billion from 2017-2021 and $17.5 billion for the same period in the US.
The regulation in this space still needs refining to ensure safety but also allow to this nascent market to grow.
Drones are already having a commercial impact by offering a vastly cheaper alternative to the use of helicopters for various applications. But drones will do much more than take a bite out of existing manned flight market. The step change in cost will make the use of aerial technology feasible for the first time for many companies, potentially opening up whole new market segments.
There will also be opportunities for startups in the drone market, in the race to develop flight software, centralised flight control, imaging systems, sensors, batteries, motors, solar charging, insurance, sharing models, and so on.
The key here will be the timing and ensuring that the technology and applications developed can support the companies developing them in the short term while the market demand grows.
Bring on the drones!
Like the internet and GPS before them, drones are evolving beyond their military origin to become powerful business tools. They’ve already made the leap to the consumer market, and now they're being put to work in commercial and civil government applications from firefighting to farming. That’s creating a market opportunity that's too large to ignore.