2Q 2022

Analyst Insight: Drones in the Smart City

Smart City Tracker Insights

Drones had already spanned the application types of smart city projects when the COVID-19 pandemic provided them a further impetus in supporting social distancing and remote working. From measuring toxic pollutants in the air to delivering boba milk tea for a lunchtime treat, these devices can enhance many aspects of city life. Despite the challenges that skyscrapers, urban congestion, and individual city weather challenges present, drones on the town enjoy a plethora of attractive use cases. Municipal governments have shown significant interest in these use cases and have begun numerous drone pilots.

This report includes case studies ranging from Lagos, Nigeria to Helsinki, Finland that include delivery of goods, pollution surveillance, transmission and distribution assessments, and neighborhood mapping. The report delves into the market development for drones globally with a look at benefits such as reduced delivery times, OPEX, and congestion, to limitations such as weather, regulations, and crowded airspaces. It also investigates which impediments will be lasting and which will dissipate as new technologies become ubiquitous. Additionally, it examines which regions are ripe for specific use cases.

Pages 13
Tables | Charts | Figures 4
  • What are the key global trends for drones in the smart city?
  • What are different use cases for drones in urban environments?
  • Which drone types perform well in urban environments, and which perform poorly?
  • How does current regulation affect the urban drone market in the US and beyond?
  • What are some case studies around the world for drones being used in the smart city?
  • What are key drivers and barriers to the drone market?
  • What are specific trends around the delivery drone market?
  • What are key recommendations for those involved in the urban drone market?
  • UAS and drone manufacturers 
  • UaaS Providers
  • Drone Service Providers
  • Aviation policy makers/researchers
  • Package delivery companies
  • Food delivery companies
  • Investor community



Executive Summary

Overview: Trends in Global Smart City Projects

Case Studies: UCAs in Cities (Delivery Drones)

Case Studies: UAVs as Inspectors and Emergency Repairers

Market Trends and Investment Overview

Market Drivers and Barriers

Key Recommendations

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Additional Resources


  • Cumulative Tracked Smart City Projects by Region, World Markets: 2012-2021
  • Delivery Drone Sales Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2021-2030
  • Smart City Mobility Solutions by Region, World Markets: 2022-2030
  • Market Drivers and Barriers
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