New research conducted by PwC has shown that drone technology could give UK GDP a £42Bn (2%) boost by 2030.
In its report – entitled ‘The impact of drones on the UK economy‘ – PwC estimates that the number of drones in UK airspace will soar to around 76,000 in 2030, with more than a third (36%) expected to support the public sector – be it defence, education or health. There are significant gains to be made all round however, with construction and manufacturing set to see an impressive £8.6Bn increase in GDP.
The report also predicts that the UK could recoup a potential £16Bn in savings thanks to a host of efficiency and productivity improvements brought about by drones. Here, the technology, media and telecoms sector will lead the way, with potential net savings worth £4.8Bn anticipated by 2030.
Meanwhile, PwC estimates that 628,000 people will be part of the so-called drone economy in twelve years time. New jobs to develop, build, operate and regulate drones will be required to remain in-step with productivity and consumer demand as a direct result of drone usage.
“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,” said Elaine Whyte, UK Drones Leader at PwC. “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 kick-start 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.”