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Over 76,000 drones could be in UK industrial use by 2030

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We’ve written previously here at EngineeringPro about how drones could have a transformative impact upon the Oil & Gas industry, but a new piece of research from PwC has revealed that the adoption of drones across a broad range of industries is rapidly accelerating with as many as 76,000 potentially in use by 2030 across the UK.

Drone technology could bring a wealth of benefits according to PwC, most notably an increase in the UK’s GDP of £42 billion.

Of the 76,000 drones that are expected to be in use by 2030, more than a third of these (36%) could be utilised by the public sector (including in areas such as defence, health and education). Whilst all sectors could be expected to derive economic gains from the use of drones, the largest impact will be on the wholesale and retail trade sector with an increase of 2.5%, amounting to around £7.7bn.
The increased use of drones could boost the UK's GDP by as much as £42 billion.
Pushing productivity gains

The report finds that drone technology could help the UK achieve up to £16bn in net cost savings by 2030 through increased productivity. The technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sector stands to save the most by using drones, with a potential net saving of £4.8bn by 2030.


The report brings good news for jobs. Across the UK PwC estimates that there will be 628,000 people working in the drone economy by 2030. New types of jobs to develop, build, operate and regulate drones will be needed, as changes in productivity and consumer demand resulting from drone usage create jobs.

Commenting on the impact that drones will have upon the UK economy, Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC, said:

“Drones have the potential to offer a powerful new perspective for businesses across a variety of industries, delivering both productivity benefits and increased value from the data they collect. The UK has the opportunity to be at the leading edge of exploiting this emerging technology, and now is the time for investments to be made in developing the use cases and trial projects needed to kickstart our drone industry.”

“I envisage that the advantages of drone technology will be well established within the decade- not only for business purposes, but also for helping to protect our society, for example, through being used by the emergency services. There is a need for current UK drone regulation to advance to see the estimations in our report become a reality, but it’s positive to see the Government already taking proactive steps to address this with the draft Drones Bill.”

“In order to realise the full potential from drones, the immediate focus must be on developing society’s confidence in the technology to help drive acceptance and increase adoption. While drones are often currently viewed as more of a toy, by combining this emerging technology with the right business understanding and human insight there is a huge opportunity to help solve some of business and society’s most important problems.”
According to the research up to 628,000 people could be working in the drone economy by 2030.
With drones transforming the Oil & Gas industry (and many others), it will be interesting to see how they transform the job market over the coming decade. At EngineeringPro, we’ll be monitoring how this trend develops…

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Over 76,000 drones could be in UK industrial use by 2030 - Time to read 3 min
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