IoT Enterprise Drone Shipments Will See 50 Per Cent Growth in 2020 To 526,000 Units: Gartner

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  • Global shipments of enterprise drones will reach 1.3 million units by 2023
  • In 2020, the second and third use cases by drone shipments will be fire services monitoring and insurance investigation with construction monitoring taking the lead

According to a report by Gartner titled ‘Forecast Analysis: IoT Enterprise Drone Shipments, Worldwide’, worldwide shipments of Internet of Things (IoT) enterprise drones (defined as flying drones) will total 526,000 units in 2020. This is a 50 per cent increase from the 2019 value. The report also said that global shipments of enterprise drones will reach 1.3 million units by 2023. To save costs when surveying sites, the number of global construction employees per drone will decrease from 2,400 to 640 between 2018 and 2020 as per the report.

Kay Sharpington, principal analyst at Gartner said, “The construction sector is an early adopter of drones, which causes construction monitoring to be the largest use case by shipments worldwide across the forecast.Shipments are estimated to reach 210,000 drones in 2020, and more than double by 2023. Drones are taking over tasks such as site surveying and earthworks management as they are faster and safer to carry out with a drone than on foot.”

Fire services monitoring and insurance investigation

As per Gartner, most use cases will be based around surveillance and monitoring due to the technical complexity of other applications in the short term. In 2020, the second and third use cases by drone shipments will be fire services monitoring and insurance investigation with construction monitoring taking the lead.

According to Gartner, insurance industry shipments are expected to nearly triple by 2023 to reach 136,000 in that year. Gartner expected insurance drones will grow from one per 152,000 people in 2018 to one per 72,000 people worldwide in 2020.

25,000 units in 2020 in retail

Gartner estimates that the number of drones used by police and firefighters will grow from one per 210,000 people to one per 47,000 people between 2018 and 2020. Sharpington added, “Fire service drones use cameras and thermal imaging to identify fire sources, extreme heat areas, trapped people and the positions of firefighters in the field. Consequently, firefighting agencies can deploy resources in the right areas in emergencies and investigate incidents while minimizing risk to lives.”

Drones are also being used for retail deliveries will provide customers with rapid service and allow retailers access to customers in remote areas. But it has a few challenges like regulatory restrictions and logistical challenge of coordinating flight paths, managing airspace over densely populated areas.

Biggest opportunity for retail will come after 2023

Gartner said drone shipment in retail sector will reach 25,000 units in 2020 and will rise to 122,000 units in 2023. It said the biggest opportunity for retail will come after 2023. It also said that the number of employees per drone will decrease from 73,000 global retail employees per drone in 2018 to 18,000 global retail employees per drone in 2020.

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