PwC:The impact of drones on the UK economy

  • Robert Garbett, CEO & Chairman at BSI Committee

  • 30.05.2018 08:00 am
  • undisclosed

The recent PwC report into the impact of the drone industry on the UK’s economy, jobs, productivity and quality of life is both positive and welcome but what is more exciting is that this is just a small fragment of the wider drone picture. What many will not realise, but what is becoming widely accepted, is that the drone industry is shifting away from being an air focussed industry to one which is breaking down traditional environmental barriers to give rise to a new understanding of the term 'drone'.

As technology advances in this field, we are witness to the emergence of a new wave of hybrid drone systems which are able to operate across different environments from ground vehicles that can fly to aircraft which can dive into the sea, monitor and inspect underwater and then move out of the water to become airborne again.  Indeed, there are now systems available which are integrated surface (marine), underwater and air drone systems combined, such as those being developed by Marine Advanced Research, an American company which embraces the concept of the 'Hybrid' drone system.

It is the emergence of such concepts and the advancement of autonomous systems across all environments (surface, underwater, air & space) that has led to the emergence of a new definition for a 'drone' incorporating 'any vehicle, ship, aircraft or hybrid system which is autonomously or remotely controlled’. When we consider the drone industry from this perspective, the impact on the UK economy, jobs, productivity and quality of life takes on a whole new meaning and a much larger figure.


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