Over the past one and a half decades, drones have evolved from laboratory experiments to flying vehicles that are available at brick & mortar and online stores. Technological advancements have paved the way for use of intricate components and parts that have significantly improved the stability and control of modern-day drones. Furthermore, progress in the battery technology has played an imperative role in the development of current generation of drones. In the current scenario, drones have a broad range of applications, including aerial photography, disaster management, precision agriculture, geographic mapping, and weather forecast. More recently, the dwindling prices of first-person view (FPV) systems have led to a significant rise in the number of drone hobbyists across the globe.

The meteoric rise in the number of casual drone users, along with notable advancements in the drone technology has led to significant demand for racing drones in the past few years – a trend that is expected to continue during the forecast period. In addition, the inception of multiple drone racing leagues across the world is likely to provide a significant boost to the racing drones market in the near future. Thus, despite being at a relatively nascent stage, the racing drones market is poised to grow at a staggering pace during the forecast period (2019-2027).

racing drones market infographic

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Manufacturers of Racing Drones Focus on Aerodynamic Optimization

The racing drones market, which is expected to reach a market value of ~US$ 237 Mn in 2020 is projected to witness three-fold growth during the forecast period to reach a market value of ~US$ 786 Mn by 2027. At present, multi-rotor drones that are currently deployed for drone racing have not updated, in terms of technology, and have tremendous room for improvement. Stakeholders in the racing drones market have recognized the same and have stepped up their effort toward the development of highly advanced and cutting-edge drones with improved capabilities.

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Racing drone manufacturers are expected to focus on the aerodynamics of racing drones to optimize the power required during flights by minimizing drag force. Moreover, racing drone manufacturers are focusing on reducing the drag force to improve the maneuverability of their racing drones. Furthermore, commercial racing drone manufacturers are investing significant amount of resources on aerodynamic optimization by leveraging computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel testing. Considering the projected growth for the racing drone market, drone racing teams are likely to allocate a significant amount of funds in research and testing to improve the functionalities of their drones. 

Inception of Drone Racing League to Accelerate Market Growth

Witnessing the growing interest in drone racing, the first-of-its-kind Drone Racing League was founded in 2015. The inception of the league is expected to play a critical role in the development of the drone racing market in the coming years. The Drone Racing League, which is currently in its fourth season, is held across multiple locations around the world, including Germany, France, and the U.S. With significant improvements in the FPV technology, availability of a plethora of FPV goggles, and consistent developments to widen the field of view (FOV), the racing drones market has witnessed significant growth.

Organizers of the drone racing leagues are continually introducing innovative drone racing circuits that are expected to encourage and drive innovations in the racing drones market. For instance, the Drone Racing League launched an Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing (AIRR) Circuit, a drone racing series, wherein university students and tech-geeks are invited to develop an AI framework that will enables the racing drones to fly through racing league circuits without human intervention.

Moreover, due to the growing popularity of FPV racing as a competitive sport, organizations, such as the Drone Racing League and the U.S. Drone Racing Association, have been established.

The racing drones market is entering an era wherein investments are growing at an impressive rate, as companies, including Pepsi, GoPro, and Ernst & Young, are associating with racing drone events as corporate sponsors. Moreover, drone racing episodes were recently aired on the Discovery and Science Channels, which, in turn, is expected to improve awareness pertaining to drone racing. 

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