All Roads Lead to Drones
Society often thinks of drones as devices used for filming on a movie set, or a recreational gadget that they would buy as a gift for a loved one, however as technology advances, we have seen tremendous growth in drone applications in the commercial space. While drone use is continually expanding, we see continued growth in both the recreational and commercial space.
Last year, according to The Economist, “around 110,000 drones (technically known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs) were sold for commercial use, according to Gartner, a consultancy. That figure is expected to rise to 174,000 this year and the number of consumer drones to 2.8m. Although unit sales of commercial drones are much smaller, total revenues from them are nearly twice as big as for the consumer kind.”
UAVs for commercial use spans a multitude of industries across North America. Goldman Sachs, one of United States’ largest financial institutions, predicted drone and UAV use in industrial sectors would attract the biggest and quickest growth. Exact numbers quoted by the industry being agriculture ($5.9billion), insurance ($1.4billion) and infrastructure inspection ($1.1billion).
While these numbers are only a best guess, the statistics prove that commercial drone use will continue to grow and contribute as a top growth sector. With the evolution of this emerging technology, there are of course challenges to adoption, however, it is clear that the use of drones and UAVs is quickly becoming standard practice for increased efficiency across the board.
In one Canadian example, the city of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories has recently invested in the purchase of UAVs used primarily for collecting information on “city planning, engineering, assessment, mapping and solid waste management.” The mayor of the city, in an article from My Yellowknife Now stated that “The UAV is capable of providing high-quality information in a timely and profitable manner for use in projects that benefit several City departments.” He says the drone will be a useful way to gather new information.