The global LiDAR market is set to grow from its current market value of more than $1 billion to over $10 billion by 2025, according to new research. A report by Global Market Insights, Inc. looks at the LiDAR market from now to 2025 and examines various applications of the devices, use in different industries and regions of the world, and key players in the market.

Demand for 3D imaging solutions has risen due to the increasing development of smart city projects and expanding civil engineering and manufacturing applications. Existing traditional 3D imaging technologies, such as radar, cannot detect small objects, preventing the usage of LiDAR in high-precision applications. LiDAR technology uses shorter wavelengths that allow the detection of tiny objects with a high degree of accuracy while developing an exact 3D monochromatic model of the object. This characteristic has opened an entirely new paradigm of possibilities to solve complex tasks, specifically in factory automation, robotics, and manufacturing sectors, encouraging companies to use LiDAR solutions due to their ability to solve complex problems while simultaneously developing high-precision 3D models.

LiDAR solutions are increasingly used in UAVs to produce high-resolution digital surfaces, and terrain and elevation models for numerous business applications. Historically, enterprises used a distinct personalized component for every application. With the advent of LiDAR technology, companies are using LiDAR devices mounted on UAVs, which serve as a multifunctional 3D mapping system. This further reduces the overall size and production cost of manufacturing the entire UAV assembly, making LiDAR a viable and affordable alternative for building inexpensive UAVs.

The bathymetric LiDAR market is projected to grow a CAGR of over 30% over the forecast timeline. The changing climatic conditions in coastal areas, rising sea levels, and the increasing severity of extreme natural events have renewed the focus toward better understanding of coastlines. Bathymetric measurement systems survey near shore land and sea surface areas to help identify potential risks in coastal regions. They present a cost-effective and efficient technology solution for simultaneously capturing both land and sea data to develop a detailed elevation model along coastlines. The technological advancement in the bathymetric LiDAR market landscape is also augmenting its adoption. Aircraft are using multiple sensors, which are designed to provide an integrated 360-degree view over large areas, faster throughput, enhanced reflection calibration between flight lines, and enhanced point density. The advances in cloud computing and big data processing have driving LiDAR usage in long-duration surveying and mapping applications. 

The mechanical LiDAR market is anticipated to register a growth rate of more than 32% during the forecast timeline. This is attributed to the widespread demand for mechanical LiDAR devices in driverless cars. The companies operating in the automotive sector are exploring new ways to drive the price of manufacturing mechanical LiDAR systems. Solid-state technology is yet to be commercialized and is still in the development phase. A large number of R&D activities are expected to drive the innovations in the solid-state LiDAR market.

The environmental LiDAR market is expected to register a growth rate of more than 32% during the projected time period. The LiDAR technology provides real-time data for numerous geoscience applications to develop accurate and high-resolution maps and 3D models. The technology has been used to study the ecosystem of various wildlife species and is used to measure the vertical density of forest canopies to monitor forest fires and identify certain forest areas that enhance the productivity of wood quality. LiDAR technology helps in planning and managing a forest while increasing environmental quality.

The European LiDAR market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 20% over the projected time period due to the increasing use of advanced LiDAR solutions on various engineering projects on a large scale. Another factor that has acted as a catalyst in the usage of LiDAR solutions is the rising use of UAVs for various recreational and commercial purposes. There has been an upsurge in the number of supportive government initiatives, encouraging enterprises to invest in LiDAR-based research along with the adoption of LiDAR technology for numerous public sector applications such as flood relief and management.    

The players in the LiDAR market are building partnerships with other LiDAR companies to strengthen their positions in the market. For instance, in June 2018, Innoviz joined forces with HiRain Technologies to develop new and advanced versions of solid-state LiDAR devices for China-based auto manufacturers. The companies are also focusing on fundraising activities to expand their operations globally. In one such expansion in November 2018, AEye, a startup based in the U.S., raised $40 million in series B funding round to scale its operations.

Players in the LiDAR market include Beijing Surestar Technology, Geodigital, Leica Geosystems, Michael Baker International, Ouster, Teledyne Optech, Topcon Positioning Systems, Quantum Spatial, Velodyne LiDAR, Yellowscan, Trimble, Valeo, Riegl Laser Measurement Systems, Quanergy Systems, Innoviz Technologies, Leddartech, Geokno, and Faro Technologies.