Market for drones could already be worth as much as £88bn, report claims
Autonomous drones will become a common presence in British skies if the growth seen in the market continues to soar.
That’s according to PwC, which claims that its research shows the worldwide drone market is already worth a staggering $127bn (£88bn).
With applications ranging from agriculture to film-making, the accounting giant says that nearly every industry could benefit from the introduction of drone technology, and anticipates this growth to continue in years to come.
PwC’s analysis found that the infrastructure industry has the best prospects for drone application, with a predicted $45.2bn (£31.2bn) market value.
This was closely followed by Agriculture, Transport, Security, and Media & Entertainment, showing the sheer range in possible applications drones can offer.
“We are currently in discussion with several major companies from a wide range of industries about how they can use drones to improve their business processes,” said Michal Mazur, partner and head of drone powered solutions at PwC for Central and Eastern Europe.
“This got us thinking about the potential value of the global drone-powered solutions market. With an estimated market value of over $127bn in commercial applications, drones are making the transition from novelty item to indispensable business tool.”
To show off its expertise when it comes to drone technology, PwC has also a global “centre of excellence” in Poland which will use drones and data analytics to help its clients solve their business challenges.
The centre will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world, and will look to encourage the use of drone technology across central and eastern Europe.
Drones are becoming increasingly popular in the UK thanks to high-profile applications such as Amazon’s planned Prime Air delivery drones.
Read More: Can you fly drones in London?
However several recent new stories have prompted a call for stricter regulation on the devices, particularly following an incident last month when a plane landing at Heathrow Airport was allegedly struck by a drone.
Last November, a pilot of an A321 passenger jet approaching Gatwick airport also had a close call with a drone flying at 100ft above one of the airport’s runways, and two months previous to that, pilots of an A319 aircraft reported a drone passing within 30ft of the cockpit whilst on approach to Heathrow.
Recent research by the University of Birmingham highlighted the privacy, safety and indeed security risks of drones over the next 20 years, especially as the aircraft could be possibly used by terror groups to attack public events.
Currently, drones can only be used in the UK within sight of the operator and with permission of the Civil Aviation Authority.
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