Drone technology will save construction firms in the UK some £3.5bn ($4.65bn) by 2030, according to new forecasts.
A PwC study on the impact of drones on the UK economy says that drones can add as much as 2%, or £42bn ($55.8bn), onto the country’s GDP, with the construction sector among many industries benefitting from enhanced productivity.
PwC says that drones will boost productivity of the UK construction industry by 3.1%, largely thanks to the added speed and accuracy they bring to the process of site surveying.
Drones, which can map sites 400 times faster than manual methods, collect data in large volumes and often integrate with building information modelling systems to create highly accurate visual representations of project sites.
PwC suggests that using drones throughout an entire project lifecycle will provide an unrivalled record of all activities, boosting planning efficiency and eliminating arguments over project status at any given time.
Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC, commented: “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.
“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.”
The technology, media and telecoms sector stands to save the most by using drones, with a potential net saving of £4.8bn ($6.38bn) by 2030, according to the report.
PwC also predicts that the UK drone economy will employ 628,000 by 2030.