Verdantix Identifies Success Metrics For The World’s Leading UAV Service Providers

London – November 9, 2018. Independent research firm Verdantix has published the first study available on the market covering the business models, value propositions and strategies of UAV service providers. The report, “Smart Innovators: UAV Service Providers” covers UAV solutions delivered into the market by 12 of the market leading services firms consisting of AECOM, Avetics Global, Aviat Drones, ERM, FlyLogix, Golder, HAZON Solutions, Identified Technologies, Jacobs, Martek Aviation, Nearview and Ramboll. In the US and Europe the market for externally supplied UAV services will be worth $271 million in 2019.

“Whilst the media is full of big numbers about the size of the UAV market, the reality on the ground is that UAV service providers have fewer than 100 employees” stated Malavika Tohani, Verdantix Principal Analyst. “In large organizations like Jacobs and Ramboll, drones experts are integrated into an existing business unit. They compete with standalone UAV service providers such as FlyLogix and HAZON Solutions. Given the small scale of drone consulting organizations, attracting and retaining talent is a major priority.”

According to prior Verdantix research, the market for UAV-related services will be worth $151 million in the US in 2019 and €105 million ($120m) in Europe in 2019. We forecast the US market for UAV services will hit $376 million in 2024 and the European market will reach €327 million ($375m) in 2024. The UAV service providers targeting this growth market are developing expertise and delivery capabilities in several ways. Key findings from the benchmark:

UAV offerings with the highest volume of projects are mapping and surveying, horizontal infrastructure and vertical infrastructure inspections. At least one third of the UAV service providers delivered ten or more projects in these three categories in 2017.

Eleven UAV service elements are on offer. They span data analysis, payload design, project management, regulatory advice, UAV maintenance, pilot hire and safety audits. UAV service providers focus on delivering end-to-end projects not providing outsourced UAV pilot services.

UAV service providers tend to license commercially-available software for automated flight planning, data processing, mapping, photogrammetry and flight data logging and reporting. Frequently mentioned UAV software providers were 3D Robotics, DroneDeploy, Kespry and Skycatch.

During 2019 and 2020, the rise of autonomous drones, longer battery life, enhanced data analytics and ruggedized all-weather UAVs are perceived to be the technology advances which will have the biggest benefit for selling UAV solutions.

To learn more about the UAV service provider market, access the Verdantix report “Smart Innovators: UAV Service Providers” and attend the speech by Verdantix Principal Analyst Malavika Tohani at The Commercial UAV Show, November 14-15 at London’s ExCel.


Arron Wilson
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