Try to find a #businessperson who won’t be affected by drone #technology in some way, shape, or form over the next few years. Go ahead, I dare you. It’s a hard task because #drones are going to #change everything.
To better understand how #drones – also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (#UAVs), or Miniature #Pilotless Aircraft – will impact us mere mortals, I turned to Greg McNeal, one of the top experts in drone #technology.
Hereafter we feature an article with McNeal. He’s the co-founder of AirMap, the leading airspace services platform; he’s also a professor at Pepperdine #University, and a frequent keynote speaker on unmanned #aircraft and innovation policy.
Here are some of the reasons why #drones will be big:
#1: Drones won’t necessarily be bad for employment prospects.
Some #jobs might go away, but they may be replaced by better jobs. #McNeal uses the example of the individual whose job it is to #grab random spot samples of water to look for environmental contaminants. Drones will be able to gather far more data #points than that #human, so lower-level jobs like this will likely be replaced by many more #analytical roles. You might even have some of those jobs replaced by people actually trying to do things to mitigate against that #environmental harm. And, that’s probably a good thing.
#2: Military drones are #really just a #fraction of the overall drone market.
The commercial and civilian drone market is expected to grow at a compound annual #growth (CAGR) rate of 19% between 2015 and 2020. That #dwarfs the CAGR of 5% for #military drones.
#3: Seven million #drones may be in the skies by 2020.
An FAA 2016-2036 drone #forecast predicted that we will have about 7 million drones in the air by 2020. The FAA predicts that by 2020, commercial #drone sales alone will reach 2.7 million. To put that number into #perspective, it’s estimated that there are between 23,600 and 39,000 #planes in the world today.
#4: The global #commercial drone market will reach $17 billion by 2024.
Right now, the most visible #commercial application for #drones has to be their use in #photography and video. But, as a report from Global Market Insights highlights, drones are increasingly being used in #sectors such as agriculture, construction, real estate, media, and delivery – just look at #Amazon’s proposed drone delivery service.
#5: Drones will save #lives.
There are all sorts of #mundane activities such as roof inspections that can be done more cheaply or more safety with a #drone. At this very moment, you have people inspecting #tiles or shingles on #roofs, and every year, about 50 roofers are killed on the job, with countless more #injured.
Today, AirMap works with companies like #Kespry to get a drone up in the air, and in a few minutes can get the same #information it would take a #human 45 minutes to get. Of course, not only is this done quicker, but it’s completed without #jeopardizing someone’s life.
#6: Less than 1 in 100 drones will be a #delivery drone.
Drones delivering our packages are what most #consumers think about when they think of commercial drones, but in #reality, they will be few and far between. Gartner predicts that by 2020, less than one percent of all #commercial drones will be used for deliveries. Gerald Van Hoy, a senior research analyst at Garner, believes that “delivery #drones will begin finding a niche in business-to-business #applications first, particularly for #internal services within one company where #logistics will not be such a big factor.”
#7: Drone #technology is more “advanced” than drone #regulations.
#Aviation is one of the most heavily regulates industries, with makes it #difficult to disrupt in the way that #startups are used to doing. A company with the typical #SiliconValley mentality might believe that if you “develop the #solution, and you show to people, the wisdom of your idea and your #solution is going to win them over, and that’s just simply not how government works, or how heavily regulated #industries work,” explains #McNeal. “You really need to have an approach to heavily regulated #industries that allows you to recognize the #constraints that the #government faces even if they want to work with you as well as the timeline #limitations on your ability to enter the market. With drones, it’s not only the f#ederal government, but there are also state and local #government that are involved.”