Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Delivery Drone Market
The impact of COVID-19 on the market for delivery drones is changing every minute. The drone industry witnessed an immediate and clear impact of the pandemic. Before the outbreak, the market was witnessing a boom owing to an increase in the adoption of drones for delivering goods and fighting life-threatening military missions. However, with the ongoing pandemic, the drone market is expected to witness a slack period owing to increasing restrictions in airspace usage and delays in developing drone regulations.
Impact on the Drone Market
According to MRFR analysis, the global drones’ market is projected to reach USD 129,300 million by 2028 owing to various factors such as the development of electric drones, increasing adoption of drones for industrial applications, and no fuel emissions. Moreover, the increasing adoption of passenger drones owing to growing traffic congestion is also expected to drive the growth of the market. According to the United Nations (UN), the global urban population is likely to reach 1.5 billion by 2030 and 3 billion by 2050. However, the impact of COVID-19 on the drone industry has been unprecedented. This trend is likely to be witnessed throughout the next few months as various countries such as India, China, and the US are increasing restrictions on airspace usage. With increasing restrictions and reduced investment in R&D, the industry is expected to witness a slack period. Moreover, increasing delays in developing drone regulations due to COVID-19 is also expected to hamper the growth of the market.
Delivery Drone and COVID-19: A Game Changer in Combating the Outbreak
As the entire world is focusing on combating against the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of automation and robotics has never been more necessary. With the number of those infected crossing 4,058,252 and the number of deaths passing 200,000, governments across the world face two main concerns—how to ‘flatten the curve’ of the virus and how to deliver essential goods and services amid lockdown and minimize the damage to the economy. Drones play a crucial role in both these cases. Drones have helped in fighting the battle against COVID-19 in numerous ways. Various developed and developing countries have been adopting drones during the pandemic to ensure the delivery of crucial commodities to citizens and maintain law and order.
In China, there are approximately 82,926 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The government is facing constant challenges in bringing the economy back on track and reducing COVID-19 cases. However, the Chinese government is adopting advanced technologies such as robotics and drones to win the battle against COVID-19. Various e-commerce companies are using drones to deliver essential goods to the remote areas of China due to the lockdown. For example, in February 2020, JD.com, a technology company based in China, delivered medical aid in the central Chinese city of Wuhan through drones. China is home to some of the prominent drone companies such as DJI and Ehang. However, due to the ongoing pandemic and airspace restrictions, the delivery drone market in China is expected to witness a delayed growth.
The US is one of the hardest-hit countries due to COVID-19. The country has approximately 1.4 million COVID-19 cases. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the country’s GDP has witnessed a sharp decline in the first quarter of 2020. As per the Wall Street Journal, the country’s economy shrunk by 4.8% in the first quarter of 2020. However, owing to the high inclination of adopting advanced technologies and the presence of companies such as Zipline and United Parcel Service of America, Inc., the US government is steadily fighting the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak. Drone delivery companies are ensuring that essential commodities are being delivered to the citizens of the US and other developing nations such as South Africa that do not have adequate resources. For example, in April 2020, Zipline helped in collecting test samples from patients at rural health facilities and delivering them to laboratories in South Africa’s two largest cities—Accra and Kumasi—in less than an hour. Due to the rising number of infections in the country, the industry lockdown is expected to increase, hampering the growth of the market. However, with the increasing demand for essential goods and the growing need for social distancing, the delivery drone market in the US is expected to grow in the next few years gradually.
In India, increasing government initiatives towards the adoption of delivery drones for delivering essential goods during the pandemic is expected to drive the market growth in the country. For example, in May 2020, the Indian government launched Government Authorisation for Relief Using Drones (GARUD), a portal to provide fast track conditional exemptions to government agencies for COVID-19 related drone operations. Hence, such factors are expected to impact the market growth in the country positively.
The UK government is using various advanced technologies such as drones and robotics to deliver essential goods to citizens during the lockdown. For instance, in April 2020, the government approved trials for drones to deliver medical supplies as the number of deaths due to COVID-19 reached 32,692.
The Road Ahead
As the drone market has not been affected as much as other industries, losses due to delays in developing drone regulations are likely to take place. Moreover, airspace restrictions and reductions in R&D investments due to lockdown are expected to hamper the market growth. However, with the increasing need for social distancing and the benefits offered by delivery drones, the delivery drone market is expected to witness notable growth in the future years.
Role of Market Research Future
As a market research and consulting company, Market Research Future has been continuously monitoring and tracking the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on various markets within the aerospace & defense industry. All our research studies have been updated to accommodate the impact of COVID-19 in the respective market to provide our customers with comprehensive market data along with present and future trends with macro and micro-level impact factors.