Autonomous Aircraft Market

Boeing and Airbus are leading players in Autonomous Aircraft Market

Autonomous aircraft refers to aircraft with capabilities to acquire, understand, and process information to make decisions and take necessary actions for the flight operations of an aircraft, without any human interference. The current market of autonomous aircraft includes increasingly autonomous aircraft that possess semi-autonomous capabilities for various flight operations, and fully autonomous aircraft that the current market is moving towards, which will involve complete autonomy in all flight operations. Autonomous aircraft’s autonomy components include – flight management computers, air data inertial reference unit, sensors, actuation system, software, intelligent servos, cameras, radars & transponders, and propulsion system. The autonomous aircraft market is projected to grow from an estimated USD 3.6 billion in 2018 to 23.7 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 17.06% during the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to reduction in human error due to increased autonomy, increased cost savings, and advancements in artificial intelligence through deep learning.

Key players in the autonomous aircraft market include Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Elbit Systems, among others. These market players have been focusing on securing contracts from airlines and governments, as well as developing partnerships and using merger & acquisition strategies to grow in the market. The core competencies of these market players include their widespread geographical presence and increased investments in R&D activities.

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Boeing is a major player in the autonomous aircraft market. The company has a strong presence worldwide, mainly in the US and focuses on manufacturing increasingly autonomous commercial aircraft and autonomous unmanned aircraft systems. The company receives orders for aircraft from various airlines as well as governments. In 2018, Boeing received a contract worth USD 805 million from the US Navy to manufacture 4 MQ-25 aerial refueling aircraft. In 2017, Boeing acquired Aurora Fight Sciences, through which they have been working on developing a fully autonomous Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV). The company conducted its first flight test of the PAV in 2019.

Airbus is another major player in the autonomous aircraft market. The company has a strong presence not only in Europe, but also worldwide. The company focuses on manufacturing increasingly autonomous commercial aircraft, and various airlines have a fleet of Airbus aircraft. In May 2015, Airbus Group announced to establish its operations with a fully independent venture capital fund and an innovation center branded as Ał. In 2016, the company committed investment of USD 150 million in A3, to develop a fully autonomous aircraft, the A3 Vahana. The company conducted its first flight test in February 2018.

Lockheed Martin is a defense company, which manufactures unmanned aircraft systems. The company has broad offerings of ISR autonomous unmanned aircraft systems. The company’s major business is from US government contracts.

Along with the key established players, various start-ups have entered the space of autonomous aircraft to develop their concepts of air taxi, personal air vehicles, and cargo drones. These concepts are being actively developed with the future technology of fully autonomous air travel. These start-ups are, Kitty Hawk, Volocopter GmbH, WING, LIFT, and Joby Aviation, among others.

Related Reports:

Autonomous Aircraft Market by Technology (Increasingly Autonomous, and Fully Autonomous), End Use (Commercial, Combat & ISR, Cargo, Passenger Air Vehicle, Personal Air Vehicle, Air Medical Services), Component, and Region - Global Forecast 2030

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