BIS Research forecasts the global market for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) system to reach $3.62 billion by 2026.
The UTM system is a technology used to operate and manage drones flying below 500 feet.
To date, the market is still in its early stages, with majority of the trends being in the development and testing stages of the technology.
BIS Research forecasts a working architecture for UTM systems to be ready by 2019-2020. However, full adoption is likely to be witnessed before 2025.
Developers are aiming to connect the technology with data providers to access real-time data regarding weather, airspace traffic, drone registration, and credentials of drone operators, among others
Unmanned vehicle adoption
Factors driving the UTM market include increased adoption of drones, emerging regulations for the UTM system, and developments of the key stakeholders that are working together for developing a common UTM system.
The Federal Aviation Administration's registration database, the sales of UAVs reached 2.5 million units in December 2016 and it is expected to rise to 7 million units by 2020 in the US alone.
In addition, the market is expected to grow as UTM systems will replace existing air traffic management systems for manned and unmanned aero vehicles.
Technological advancements and reduction in UAV sizes has expanded UAV application.
Utilities are testing the technology as they trial the use of drones to inspect energy transmission and distribution lines.
UK utility National Grid has launched a pilot to test how drones can help improve management of its high voltage energy transmission lines and 7,724km of high-pressure gas transmission pipelines and 23 compressor stations.
Previously, UAVs were used for defence purposes only.
UAV application is to date being expanded to precision agriculture, surveying, aerial photography, mapping and in the mobility industry.
The companies in the UAV market have been increasingly focused on enhancing the technological capabilities of their respective products to expand their geographical presence.