Drones to replace $127bn worth of human labor - PwC

Once the domain of military surveillance to miniature versions making their way to the toy shelves, drones are beginning to replace humans, a new study has found.

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Amazon, Google and Australia Post have successfully tested drones to deliver small packages, clearing the way for test deliveries to customers’ homes later this year.

According to a new study posted by multinational consulting network PwC, commercial applications for drones will replace $127 billion worth of services and labor over the next four years.

PwC expects little flying vehicles will verify insurance, spray pesticide on crops and clean windows on skyscrapers in the nearest future.

“It is fascinating to see how the combination of drone technology with deep analytical capabilities is reshaping the business world,” CEE advisory leader at PwC Piotr Romanowski told the Independent.

An Australia Post drone, Melbourne © Australia Post

According to the research, drones might soon start monitoring infrastructure maintenance, including cracks in buildings and other urban constructions. Drone technology could even provide the repair works as part of the $45.2 billion of infrastructure work now done by humans.

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Food delivery is one of the most promising uses of drones in the transport sector. Delivery time will be considerably shortened as soon as regulations permit, the study found.

A Belgian Federal Police drone takes off from the airfield, Brasschaat © Francois Lenoir

“Providing products such as frozen food, ready-to-eat dishes or even daily groceries from large chains may become be the next big thing in the food and restaurant industries,” Romanowski said.

Extensive capital projects, insurance, mining and agriculture might significantly benefit from the integration of drone-powered solutions into everyday business.

“The key barrier is actually the lack of legislation regarding the use of drones,” said Michal Mazur, head of drone-powered solutions at PwC Poland.