Advancements in automation and ecommerce are shifting drone technology closer to mass-adoption. Companies including Kroger, eBay, Alphabet, and Amazon continue to work toward integrating drones within their supply chains. Drone usage is expected to proliferate in non-retail industries as well, such as farming and emergency services.
The drone package delivery market is expected to reach $39 billion by 2030, as public perception and regulatory authorities become more comfortable with the future of UAV technologies.
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Drone Delivery Projected to Grow by Leaps and Bounds
According to Research and Markets, the global drone industry was valued at $18.1 billion in 2018and that figure could rise to nearly $89 billion by 2027. A recent report from MarketsAndMarkets showed the drone package delivery market alone could be worth $39 billion by 2030.
A 2020 survey conducted by US flight service provider DroneDeploy discovered that 90% of respondents plan to increase or maintain their spending on drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),and drone software. By 2026, more than a million drones globally could be carrying out retail deliveries, up from 20,000 today, according to Gartner.
MRP has repeatedly highlighted the acceleration of drone delivery tests and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approvals for companies including Walmart and UPS this year. Until recently, regulations required the drones to be within the line of sight of the operator, making drones useless for a retail delivery service. As arstechnica writes, only in the last year or so that the FAA has begun approving commercial use of drones that fly beyond the operator’s line of sight.
New Delivery Deployments on Deck
Positive public reception from drone delivery trials has pushed the technology closer to nationwide adoption.
eMarketer reports US retail e-commerce sales grew 33.6% in 2020 and that figure is expected to grow another 15.7% in 2021 to about $909 billion. Walmart expects the shift towards e-commerce to stick, and will continue to expand its drone-delivery pilot programs to capitalize on the trend. MRP previously noted that Walmart’s partnership with drone delivery operator Zipline, and the duo’s drone delivery program is forecast to begin this summer.
Further, dominant e-commerce retailers such as eBay and Amazon are exploring new drone delivery ideas to maintain an edge over the competition.
Last month, eBay filed a patent for an innovative drone delivery concept: utilizing public transportation and infrastructure to conserve drones battery life and minimize delivery costs.
At the same time, SupplyChainDive reports Amazon is automating…