Drone Technology

New Technology, New Economy

PwC has today released a report that stresses the renewed importance of drone technology. The report estimates that drone technology could contribute a staggering £42 billion to the UK’s economy by 2030 with as many as 76,000 drones due to be in use across Britain’s skies.

What’s more, it’s expected that there will be approximately 628,000 people working in the drone economy by 2030 as new jobs arise surrounding the development, building, operating and regulating of drones.

The report also estimates that the UK will have increased productivity as a result of using drones could also help the UK achieve up to £16bn in net cost savings.

Of the 76,000 drones expected to be in use across the UK’s skies by 2030, the report estimates that over a third could be used by the public sector, including in areas such as defence, health and education.

Although there are significant opportunities for economic gains across all sectors, the GDP uplift generated by drones is forecast to have the largest impact on the wholesale and retail trade sector with an increase of 2.5 per cent, amounting to around £7.7bn.

Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC, said the advantages of drone technology will be well established within the decade but stressed there is a need for current UK drone regulation to advance “to see the estimations in our report become a reality”.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

She added that the UK has the opportunity to be “at the leading edge of exploiting this emerging technology” and stressed that “now is the time for investments to be made.”

We must see new technology as an opportunity for our economy to transition; the UK has an incredible reputation for innovation and agility and we should seize this reputation and promote ourselves. It is promising to hear, in and amongst the negative headlines, that the UK has a strong future ahead of it.