Analysis of UAV Industry

Drones and Supply Chain: How they May Impact the Process

Drones may be one of the hottest, and for some hated, holiday toys for the year. Yet it has also become a sought-after solution for many retailers who are looking at these unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as a viable tool to help with their supply chains. When the e-retailer Amazon talked about using drones for delivery of products, many people scoffed and joked about it. Yet tons of businesses are now jumping on the bandwagon as they are seeking to introduce their own versions of drones inside warehouses and fleet yards to help with inventory management and picking processes.

As the performance of drones improves, the roles assigned to drones are becoming more and more diverse, from war weapons to disaster relief, from high-altitude photography to agriculture, forestry, fishery and animal husbandry applications, not to mention that in recent years, drones are often used at home and abroad to produce plane or three-dimensional patterns. The festive activities add color.

UAVs frequently appear in various application scenarios, which means that the expansion of this market is ongoing, and the growth rate is not slow. According to a research report published by the German drone research institute DRONEII, the global drone market will grow exponentially from 2020 to 2025, with a predicted compound annual growth rate of 13.8%.

Breaking through the power supply limit, drones fly farther

In order to accelerate the formation of the long-endurance UAV industry chain, the Ministry of Economic Affairs urged the Industrial Technology Research Institute to establish the “Fuel Cell and UAV Integration Alliance” to integrate the industry’s investment in fuel cell materials, system integration, data communication, and UAV applications. The members of this alliance currently include ZTE, Tianwu Technology, Leihu Technology, Taiwan Hope Innovation Company, Zhongguang Intelligent Robot, Yujia Communication, TECO, Xinpu Technology, Dingfeng Green Energy Technology and Taiwan Economic Research Institute. mechanism.

To achieve more development and application of UAVs, it is necessary to increase the payload, and at the same time extend the flight time or keep it online. To achieve these goals, we must first break through the power supply limitation, and fuel cells are one of the solutions. The fuel cell system has the advantage of high energy density, and only needs to add fuel to maintain power, which is equivalent to a small generator with its own, breaking through the traditional lithium battery endurance problem.

The fuel cell unmanned aerial vehicle developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute has set a number of long-endurance records such as a dual-axis rotorcraft with a payload of 10 kg and a flight time of 126 minutes, and has successfully completed a series of cross-sea and mountain rescue verifications. The high-altitude emergency material delivery flight of Xinda Mountain House breaks through the limitation of hydrogen fuel cells in high-altitude flights with low oxygen content, allowing the original eight-hour mountain hike to be completed in only 18 minutes. On the basis of this technological achievement, through the integration of the alliance’s strength, it will be able to further leverage the advantages of the complete component supply chain possessed by Taiwan’s drone industry.

Drone home delivery, the logistics ecology is facing changes

With the improvement of the performance of drones, more innovative applications can be realized, especially the growth of the drone transportation and logistics market is expected. In the 4G network environment, drones can only rely on their own GPS navigation to fly, and collisions are prone to occur in urban jungles, which is not conducive to air logistics and transportation. However, with the increasing popularity of 5G network environment, 5G networks can be used to control drones in the air. traffic, avoiding drone collisions, and using drones for distribution becomes possible.

According to MarketsandMarkets research, at this stage the main force of the drone logistics and transportation market is the delivery of drones within 10 kilograms, which are mainly used for time-critical or high-unit-priced commodities such as food, fresh food, and medical treatment. According to the research of Zebra, a major labeling machine manufacturer, with the prevalence of unmanned transport vehicles, at least 40% of the logistics industry will be able to provide delivery services within two hours before 2028. Unmanned aerial vehicles will enable logistics companies that could only operate on the ground in the past to have low-cost air transportation opportunities, and the ecology of e-commerce and logistics companies may face a reshuffle again. On the whole, although the initial market of logistics drones is still small compared with the detection, surveying and mapping markets, it is expected to grow.

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