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These are the seven new drone industry trends

Telecom will be a major beneficiary of the drone industry and there will be rapid growth in the counter drone technology, according to PWC.

Among other things, it was also noted that drones and photogrammetry are becoming standard tools in mining while UAV urban mobility pilots are taking wings, especially across Europe.

These were the revelations by Michael Mazur, Consulting Partner and head of PwC Drone Powered Solutions.Mazur was delivering one of the keynote addresses at the Commercial UAV Expo Europe, in Amsterdam.

Telecom will benefit immensely from drone industry

Mazur said that while analysts predict that revenue for the telecom industry will drop by 5% per year for the foreseeable future, drones may offer the companies a new revenue stram.  That’s because Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems will require consistent communication between drones and air traffic or other UTM services. The huge amounts of data generated by drone missions would have to be communicated in onne way or the other, and  and telecom companies will reap the benefits.

Energy grid operators are scaling up autonomous detection of failure modes

Grid operators are increasingly using drones to keep the grid up and running, moving from a reactive maintenance model to a preventive maintenance model.  Using LiDAR and photogrammetry, grid operators can create digital models of the grid; using AI-powered analysis tools, they are able to monitor vegetation growth, identify failure modes and create preventative maintenance plans.

Drones and photogrammetry are becoming standard tools in mining

“The time to do an open mine survey has moved from two weeks to two days using drones,” pointed out Mazur.  In an industry, where difficult terrain is common, drones make sense for many applications.  Mining regulations require that mines be monitored even after they are no longer working, so making the entire process as cost-effective as possible is critical to profitability. Stockpile measurement through photogrammetry is another drone mission being accepted as standard in the industry, he added.

UAV urban mobility pilots are spreading across Europe

 “In the EU, traffic congestion in urban areas is currently estimated to cost 100 billion pounds per year,” said Mazur.  In Europe’s crowded cities, many urban planning experts see expanding traffic up — using drones as part of an integrated and multimodal transportation system — as the only option to improving the situation.

UTM models are being refined and rolled out across Europe

UTM is a critical step in the growth of the drone industry and its not too far in the future. UTM models are currently being implemented across Europe, having an impact on the global drone community.

Rapid growth in counter drone technology

The growth of rogue drones causing problems in sensitive areas is for real. “Counter drone technology is growing faster than DJI revenue,” Mazur said on a lighter note. With some highly publicized drone incidents like the Gatwick Airport fiasco, regulators are showing interest in the development and implementation  of counter drone technologies.

BVLOS will become standard in Europe

“The country of Malta had just announced a complete survey of all the roads in the country over the last 2 months with no accidents,” said Mazur.  Mazur believes that drone flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) will become standard in Europe.  BVLOS flight opens commercial drone operations like large scale infrastructure inspections, remote operations and drone delivery.