Michael Mazur, Partner and head of PWC Drone Powered Solutions, provided a Keynote address at the Commercial UAV Expo Europe, in Amsterdam. There were 7 trends identified as shaping the industry.
- Telecom to be a major beneficiary
Telecoms will realize a new revenue from the drone industry. UTM, or Unmanned Traffic Management systems, will require a means of communicating volumes of data between the drones and UTM systems and air traffic. Telecoms have the infrastructure to meet that requirement and tap a new market.
- Electrical System Operators apply Aerial Inspections
The Energy Industry as a whole, is applying drones to be proactive in their maintenance processes and move forward from a reactive one. Applying thermal cameras, photogrammetry and LiDAR, they are creating models and AI-powered tools to perform analytics and tools to cost effectively manage and plan.
- Indispensable tool of Construction and Mining
Ground work is difficult at the best of times, as well as time consuming and costly. Applying drones to quickly and cost effectively measure stockpiles and provide thousands, if not millions of data points, is something that simply could not be done previously using traditional methods. To reduce a process from weeks to days with the application of drone technology is a direct impact to the bottom line.
- UAV Mobility
While I enjoyed a good Uber presentation at Unmanned Systems Canada conference in Vancouver, Canada last November, in Amsterdam it was stated “Europe’s traffic congestion in urban areas is currently estimated to cost 100 billion pounds per year.” Many experts are stating that moving that growing traffic up is the only solution.
- BVLOS to be the standard in Europe
BVLOS or Beyond Visual Line of Sight is taking shape in Canada and the drone industry is watching for further information and regulations pertaining to its growth. However, Europe is well underway to making it a standard. The country of Malta recently completed a survey of all roads across the country. It was performed over two months and without incident. BVLOS will allow for drone deliveries, the inspection of infrastructure and a further wave of innovations.
- UTM Development
UTM or Unmanned Traffic Management is essential to the drone industry’s growth. While many countries are working on it, Europe is implementing. This will have a global impact to the drone industry and the implementation in other countries.
- Counter Drone Technology
While all of this is good news to the drone community, we are all reminded that there are still rogue drones and problem operators out there. Counter drone technology is also a fast-growing sector. It is supported by policy makers and regulators, as well as responsible drone businesses and law-abiding hobbyists alike.