Over the next decade, experts predict drone use for construction site aerial photography will be the largest market for commercial drone use.
According to Goldman Sachs, productivity brought on by the pervasive adoption of drone use in construction could drive earnings up to $11 billion over the next 5 years. This number is based on the idea that a strong demand for change, including measures to increase efficiency, are way overdue in construction and development, regardless of whether or not drones are the saving grace.
As drone use begins to right the ship for construction, IHS Global Insight estimates that other infrastructural industries like mining and oil and gas drilling will begin to standardize the use of UAV’s as well.
This theory is based on statistics that report infrastructural operating costs at 80% over budget on average and 20 months behind schedule.
Drones can provide the remedy for the severe inefficiencies that industry professionals have just come to accept as part of the work. Utilizing drones can provide aerial views of job sites as well as real-time data points concerning area and stockpile volume. More useful still is drone technology's ability to integrate with various softwares to produce interactive 3D maps.
In addition, drones allow for remote operations, quality control, environmental compliance, and an increase in safety standards as when construction professionals are also licensed drone operators, they are able to spot risks with more vigilance than a manned survey could.
Accessibility and Drones
While drone use was once a privilege of the largest companies in construction and infrastructure, these days they are more accessible than ever. This is mostly because of some relatively new deregulating legislature.
The Federal Aviation Administration has removed barriers responsible for limiting the use of drones commercially by adding rule Part 107 to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations on Unmanned Air Systems.
The law now requires only a “remote pilot license”, which can be earned at testing centers all over the country. The test itself is also much more affordable these days. Previously, it could cost up to $10,000 for the commercial licensure. These days, you can become a remote pilot for about $150.
ROI of Drones in Construction
Even companies who operated drones under the old FAA rules and regulations have seen a return on their investment that is set to multiply because of Part 107.
Then of course there is the steadily increasing number of construction companies across the country incorporating drones in their daily operations in response to the amended FAA laws. Over this past calendar year, a sample of these companies reported significant increases in savings and productivity including
- 65% improves communication and collaboration
- 61% more accurate measurements
- 55% increased safety standards
- 53% reduced time to data insights
All of the benefits reflected through these statistics work cooperatively towards a 5-20X per project savings.