7 Trends in the Drone Industry

Following on from PWC’s analysis of the drone industry’s worth to the UK economy (42bn by 2030), they have taken a more detailed look at the trends that will shape the future of the UAV sector.

Delivering a keynote address at the Commercial UAV Expo Europe held in Amsterdam in April 2019, Michael Mazur (Consulting Partner) had some interesting observations to make regarding drone trends that will affect commercial operators across Europe.

Drones are Good for the Telecoms Industry

Looking ahead not too very far into the future when Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems are forecast to be introduced, telecoms companies will be among the first to eel the benefit. Despite the future not being so rosy for the telecommunications industry with a predicted 5% year on year profits drop, someone will need to handle the constant communications required to make UTM system a reality and telecoms companies can expect to recoup some of those losses here.

Keeping Energy Levels Up

The power of the drone is being increasingly leverage by energy grid operators to keep their networks running at peak efficiency.  LiDAR and photogrammetry are enabling digital grid models to be created, monitoring vegetation growth, identifying failure modes and allowing the creation of effective maintenance plans.

Mining – Overground Assessment of Underground Spaces

Although mining is a shrinking industry here in the UK, this isn’t the case worldwide.  Regulations exist that require mines to be monitored even when they are no longer operating and here mining corporations are using drones to keep this process as responsive and cost effective as possible.  In an industry where inaccessible terrain is the norm, UAV photogrammetry is a natural solution.

Fighting Traffic Congestion

With road networks across Europe under increasing pressure, drone delivery solutions are being seen as a very near-future way of easing the squeeze.  Indeed a number of developers are already installing vertiports in properties that they are working on to make them ready to accept drone deliveries – so confident are they that these will become part of our everyday lives.

UTM – Unlocking the Future

Areas such as congestion easing drone deliveries are not possible until UTM systems are rolled out over significant areas.  This will unlock much more of the UAV industry’s potential and the good news is that these systems are already in finial stage testing across much of Europe.

To Visual Line of Sight and Beyond

Hand in hand with the introduction of UTM systems, Mazur believes that BVLOS will be introduced and standard across Europe.  It is this which will form the final piece of the puzzle to unlock the potential for the drone industry to carry out large scale infrastructure inspection, remote operations and drone deliveries.