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Saturday, 24 February

Not Alone With Drones

PwC has established a team of drone specialists in the UK to help clients take advantage of this emerging technology and extract value from drone data.

PwC’s Clarity from Above report found drones have the potential to disrupt a variety of industries, estimating the market for current business services and labour that could be done by drones at over $127 billion globally.

Industries with the best prospects for drone applications, such as infrastructure, agriculture and transport, will be focus areas for the new team.

The UK drones team will start with six dedicated full-time employees with plans to scale this up. In addition, there are specialists embedded in each of PwC’s main business areas - assurance, tax, deals and consulting - as well as in particular sectors, such as power and utilities, national security and construction.

Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC, said: “Having spent 20 years as an engineer in the RAF, I have seen first-hand the benefits that an aerial view can bring in terms of situational awareness and added insight.

“The majority of organisations are still using drone data at project stage, rather than embedding the technology into their strategy. I believe we’ll see drones becoming part of business as usual within the next ten years. We’re already seeing early adopters in large-scale capital projects using drone data to enhance insight into their investments, allowing for better control of building sites and creating that definitive golden record of information.

“For UK organisations to really take advantage of this technology it’s vital we have the right standards and regulation in place. The recent step by the government to announce the upcoming drone bill is positive and we’ll work closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport to continue to help provide input as standards develop.”

Drones can help capture information from a new angle,  gathering data quickly from hard to reach places with accuracy down to a few centimetres. They can make a crucial difference to clients in managing costs, controlling risks and improving safety.

The PwC team will apply data analytics and machine learning techniques to the raw data collected by drones. This will be integrated with existing management information systems to provide comprehensive insights back to clients, for example, those with real estate portfolios, landscapes for development or large structures requiring maintenance monitoring.

Picture: Drones - you are not alone

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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