Drones will replace $127bn worth of human work according to PwC


DJI-Matrice-600-5Google and Amazon are both planning to launch drone-based delivery services next year. But according to the new report by PwC – one of the biggest consulting companies in the world – transport applications are just a tiny piece of the overall drone powered services market.

The company estimates that drones could replace $127 billion worth of existing business services and labor by 2020. The potential for using drones as commercial tools and a mapping platform has grown exponentially over the last five years. Drones are already helping in boosting crop yields, verifying insurance claims, and filming movies but the possibilities and applications of drone-based technologies are endless. Piotr Romanowski – PwC Advisory Leader commented in the report:

Drone technology is only now entering commercial use beyond recreational or experimental applications. This is driven by a combination of technological development, creation of regulatory frameworks and growing awareness and readiness of companies to adopt drone powered solutions in their daily operations. The range of potential use cases across industries is broad and their economics compelling.

Drone market value PwC

The study shows that using drone technologies in existing business processes is allowing companies to create new business, operating models and save costs. For example, a human inspection of a wind turbine costs $1,500 and it’s very dangerous to perform manually. According to SkySpecs, a startup that provides drone inspections for infrastructure companies, UAV-based inspection would be at least 50% cheaper

Each industry has diverse needs, and requires different types of drone solutions, sensors and functionalities. Some of them value flight speed and payload capacity, while others wish to concentrate on solutions delivering high-quality, real-time data in a cost-effective way. Construction companies, for example, are testing drones equipped with 3D printers to produce on site-replacement parts for damaged elements of buildings.

The report analyses in detail the most prospective applications of drone powered solutions, as well as the industry drivers and barriers. Take a look at it, it’s free and interesting read.


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I'm a professional always thinking outside the box and a self-confessed gadget addict. As a son of a professor of cartography I was surrounded by maps all my life and as a result spatial way of thinking and seeing reality is naturally embedded in who I am.



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