Not long ago, drones were synonymous with military intervention and, as a result, possessed a controversial reputation the world over. However, over the past decade, UAV technology has rapidly accelerated and, in the process, the applications for drones has expanded well beyond military, law enforcement and security industries.
As the potential for the commercial drone market has ballooned, the technology itself has benefited from economies of scale. This has helped bring down the price (and therefore the barrier of entry) of using drones to improve efficiencies in a multitude of new markets.
Here are just a few ways that drones are changing the global economy.
Drones Making Deliveries
If you’ve been reading up on drones, you’re likely aware of the fact that companies like Amazon, Google, and UPS have been aggressively investing in UAV technology. This includes research and development, but also ensuring that federal laws allow them to pursue their ambitions of utilizing advanced drone technology to carry out deliveries in the very near future.
Commercial delivery drones already contribute to over 13 billion in economic growth worldwide, but that number is expected to skyrocket in the coming years as the technology improves, laws and regulations are implemented, and consumers become more comfortable with their online orders being dropped off from the air.
The Agri-Tech Revolution
The commercial drone market with some of the greatest economic potential is the agriculture industry. As drone technology continues to become more affordable and more accessible to farmers around the world, their ability to grow more, healthier crops could prove to be a gamechanger in the global economy.
While sprayer drones have given the smallest farmers access to accurate and harvest-saving crop sprayers, that only scratches the surface of the benefits of UAV technology for agriculture. Not to mention the exciting addition of granular seed spreading drones, and fogging drones (for mosquito and pest control), farmers can avoid unnecessary chemical exposure and save thousands in labor costs. Many farmers are using cameras embedded with sophisticated software that can survey lands to detect soil quality, monitor crop growth, and help farmers detect and treat problems before they get out of control.
Building Stronger Infrastructure
The potential for drones to impact the global economy via infrastructure cannot be overstated. Drones for infrastructure are helping construction crews, building inspectors, and utilities managers around the world build roads, bridges, homes, and skyscrapers bigger, better, and safer. Drones are capable of viewing areas of construction sites or demolition zones that humans are not able to see to help contractors and inspectors alike make more informed decisions.
According to the World Economic Forum, which conducted a drone market analysis in 2015, the infrastructure sector is the single most promising area where drones could have a significant impact on the global economy, underscoring the potential for drones to help establish better infrastructure in developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia.
Flying Towards the Future
Whether they are being deployed for supply and logistics services, advances in agriculture, or building a bigger and better skyscraper, the commercial drone market presents an enormous opportunity for global economic interests.
HSE is proud to be a leader in the UAV industry, from offering a broad selection of the highest quality drones and supporting technology to FAA consulting and pilot training. If you’re interested in joining the UAV revolution, give us a call today.