The rising adoption of drone technology may potentially add £42bn to the UK’s annual GDP, according to a report by the PwC. The increase in drone adoption is being fuelled by corporations that want to automate their current operations.
The report estimates that 76,000 drones will be operational in the UK by 2030. More than 1/3 of the drones could be utilised by the public sector, which includes areas like defence, education, and health. Public and defence industries are predicted to use approximately 30,000 drones for their operations, while mining and agriculture are estimated to use 26,000 and 11,000 respectively.
Retail is expected to have the biggest contribution to the UK’s annual GDP. Computer Weekly estimates that retail will have a 2.5% (£7.7bn) revenue increase in a few years. The recent economic reading on the UK’s Like-For-Like retail sales mirrors this inference. FXCM shows that the British Retail Consortium’s retail sales report has a high reading, which is good for the GBP. A high reading means that investors are bullish toward the GBP’s future, and the rising adoption of drones is part of the reason why retail sales are being viewed positively.
The drones are expected to help UK-based companies save up to £16 billion in net cost savings by 2030. Media, telecoms, and tech companies are the industries that will be able to take advantage of drones the most, with a potential net saving estimate of £4.8 billion.
The mass production of drones is estimated to provide over 628,000 jobs by 2030. The jobs will include developing new drone models, building them, as well as operating them on a wider scale.
“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,” informed the lead drones researcher at PwC Elaine Whyte. “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.”
Whyte notes that for her vision to come true, there should be a continuous effort by the UK government to push things forward. She also believes that one of the main priorities of the government is to develop a society that is confident to build a technology for the betterment of the public.
Aviation minister Baroness Liz Sugg said in November 2017 that her agency has plans to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of a fast-paced drones market. However, Sugg also said that she is in support of the police taking down drones that are being used for criminal activity. The sUAS news claims that by May 2018, drone complaints to the police increased by 30%. Sugg wants to suppress drone-related crime in order for the technology’s adoption to soar.