The global autonomous aircraft market size was valued at US$ 6.75 billion in 2022 and it is estimated to reach around US$ 40.93 billion by 2032 with a registered CAGR of 19.80% from 2023 to 2032.
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As per the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) autonomous aircraft can be defined as an unmanned or fully-automated aircrafts that has no pilot interventions during a flight. Presently, the aircrafts used by military and civil organizations require help of pilots and to some extent they have autopilot features as well. Similarly, in autonomous aircrafts a pilot can switch to full operation mode whenever required and rest of the time can take the benefit of autonomous features provided in the plane. Autonomous technologies reduce the risk of accidents and mishappening during the flight; hence, witness exponential growth in the market revenue during the forthcoming years.
The rising investments in the development of the next-generation aircrafts with no human intervention are boosting the growth of the autonomous aircraft market. The huge investments in the development of fully autonomous aircrafts that can efficiently be utilized for military and commercial applications is expected to drive the growth of the global autonomous aircraft market during the forecast period. The rapid emergence and growing applications of the novel technologies like the artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) is fueling the growth of the market.
Moreover, the rising need for curtailing costs, eliminate human errors, and increase operational efficiency of the air crafts is boosting the demand for the AI and IoT in the development of autonomous aircrafts across the globe. The adoption of the AI and IoT offers high precision, speed, accuracy, and real-time information to the operators which are boosting the adoption of the autonomous aircrafts. The globalization of businesses and growth in the e-commerce business at a significant rate in the past few years have significantly increased the demand for the cargo flights for the delivery of goods at faster pace.
Moreover, the autonomous aircrafts are being used to deliver drugs during medical emergencies. There are several environmental incidents like natural disasters and calamities in various nations and the autonomous aircrafts serves as the only medium of transporting foods and other necessary products. Moreover, the rising number of air accidents due to human errors is fueling the demand for the autonomous aircrafts to reduce the accidents by eliminating human errors. The rising investments in the research and development to discover the potential applications of the AI and IoT in the aircrafts industry are expected to boost the growth of the global autonomous aircrafts market during the forecast period.
Report Scope of the Autonomous Aircraft Market
|Market Size by 2032||USD 40.93 Billion|
|Growth Rate from 2023 to 2032||
CAGR of 19.80%
|Largest Market||North America|
|Fastest Growing Region||Asia Pacific|
|Forecast Period||2023 to 2032|
|Segments Covered||Aircraft Type, Component, Technology, End User, Geography|
|Companies Mentioned||AeroVironment, Inc., Saab AB, Airbus S.A.S, Raytheon Company, BAE Systems, Northorp Grumman Corporation, Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Elbit Systems, Embraer S.A.|
COVID-19 Impact Analysis
Similar to other industries, autonomous aircraft market was badly impacted by the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 in the early 2020. Delay in the test runs for autonomous flight system because of numerous operational issues caused due to the travel restrictions imposed by the governments of various nations across the world in order to control the spread of the deadly corona virus. Stringent norms imposed by the governments across the globe during the pandemic period have negatively impacted the research & development activities across various sectors including autonomous aircraft. The development and innovation in the aircraft technology and systems were delays and dragged back to several years because of the sudden halt in the research & development activities in the sector.
Autonomous flight system manufacturers rely increasingly on the timely supply of necessary components along with required raw materials in order to test and develop the autonomous system =s for aircraft. In addition to this, heavy financial loss suffered by the aviation industries across various countries especially across the emerging nations because of insufficient government fund for the maintenance of aircrafts and airports along with steep fall in air traffic has also badly hampered the industry growth. This was majorly attributed to the huge shift in the government funding towards healthcare sector in respect to meet the necessities of the hospitals and other healthcare service provider to cater the rising demand for beds, medicines, PPE kits, and other necessary products to fight effectively against COVID-19.
Aircraft Type Insights
Depending on the aircraft type, the rotary wing segment dominated the global autonomous aircraft market in 2022. The ability of the rotary wing autonomous aircrafts to vertically take-off and vertically land and subsequently the requirement of less space by this aircraft has boosted the adoption of this aircraft. The rotary wing aircrafts are suitable for the densely populated areas or cities. The huge demand for the rotary wing aircrafts for combat and surveillance activities has led to the dominance of this segment in the global autonomous aircraft market.
The fixed wing is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The demand for the fixed wing aircraft is growing owing to its increased operational efficiency, improved aerodynamic performances, and higher payload versatility. The installation of the twin sensor configuration on this aircraft is boosting its adoption in the critical military operations and search & rescue operations. Furthermore, the high load carrying capacity of this aircrafts is further expected to boost its adoption.
Based on the components, the hardware segment dominated the global autonomous aircraft market in 2022. The high prices of the various hardware components of the autonomous aircrafts such as flight management computers, cameras, transponders, sensors, intelligent servos, actuation systems, and air data inertial reference units has led to the higher revenue generation. Moreover, the advancements in the designing and components like speed controllers, cooling systems, and motor stator is boosting the demand for the advanced hardware components across the globe.
Software is anticipated to be the most opportunistic segment during the forecast period. The growing demands for the software for real-time data transfer and efficient operation is boosting the growth of this segment. The adoption of the flight management software facilitates in the overall control of all the operations in an autonomous aircraft. With the surging demand for the autonomous aircrafts, the demand for the flight management software is expected to grow significantly and hence boost the growth of the software segment during the forecast period.
End User Insights
By end user, the commercial aircraft segment accounted revenue share 25% in 2022. The rising economic activities, growing number of air passengers in the commercial vehicles, and rise in e-commerce are the major factors that are expected to boost the growth of the commercial autonomous aircrafts market demand. The huge adoption of the commercial vehicles for travelling and delivering purposes has led to the dominance of this segment across the globe. The growing tourism and business travel activities across the globe has led to the rapid growth of this segment.
The air medical service is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. The air medical service segment accounted revenue share of around 22% in 2022. The growing popularity of the air ambulance is significantly driving the demand for the air medical services. The growth of the air medical segment will be fostered by the rising adoption of the air ambulance due to the medical emergencies.
North America accounted for the largest market share in the global autonomous aircraft market in 2022. North America autonomous aircraft market size was valued at USD 1.85 billion in 2020. North America is home to the leading aircraft vendors like Boeing Company, AeroVironment, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Northrop Grumman Corporation. The surging investments by these leading players in the research and development activities and adoption of AI and IoT technologies in their aircrafts has significantly augmented the growth of the North America autonomous aircraft market. The increased demand for the autonomous aircrafts in the US military for rescue, search, and surveillance operations has led to the higher demand for the autonomous aircrafts in North America. This region is expected to sustain its position in the global autonomous aircraft market throughout the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing market during the forecast period. The surging military budgets of the government in the nations like China and India are significantly driving the growth of the Asia Pacific autonomous aircraft market. The border disputes of China and India with their neighboring countries and growing need for supplying various necessity goods to the various military bases at the mountainous regions is expected to boost the demand for the autonomous aircrafts. Further, the demand is growing significantly for rescue operations and surveillance activities.
Key Market Developments
The major market players are engaged in making contracts with the various government and military bodies in various countries to sell their autonomous aircrafts. The technological advancements and innovations in the unmanned aircrafts is attracting the interests of the government to strengthen their air defense. Technology upgradation plays an important role in maintaining or retaining the market position across the globe. Additionally, increasing penetration of autonomous technologies across various sectors have encouraged several players to invest significantly in the automation and R&D for autonomous aircraft.
Some of the prominent players in the global autonomous aircraft market include:
Segments Covered in the Report
By Aircraft Type
By End User
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