The value of potential drone-based business applications is currently estimated at around 130 billion dollars / Rapid developments – new drone applications are being developed and tested around the world / Focus on legal framework conditions
Berlin, Karlsruhe, May 22, 2017. A new study by the recently founded drone section of business consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) puts the current global market potential of drone-based business applications at around 130 billion dollars in 2020. Much of this is in the infrastructure and construction sectors, where PwC calculates a potential of around 45 billion dollars. Other major sectors include agriculture, civil defence and media and entertainment. PwC feels the insurance industry will benefit greatly from these developments, given the wide range of aerial information it requires and the market for insuring drone operators.
Figures from Drone Industry Insights (DRONEII), the world's leading market research institute for commercial drone use, confirm this huge potential. However, DRONEII takes a different approach to assessment. "We assess the market from the bottom up based on real market figures and indicators. For example, we look at investments in specific areas. The average investment in a drone company rose by 185 percent from 2015 to 2016, for instance, and the number of strategic partnerships grew by 330 percent in the same period," says Kay Wackwitz, CEO of DRONEII. Nevertheless, it is still difficult to judge the market at the moment. "Things are developing so fast that it is hard to make a proper assessment of technical innovations and new applications," says Wackwitz.
New drone applications are being tested and developed in the research and development departments of companies and specialist faculties in universities around the world. Experts are certain that what we have seen so far is only the tip of the iceberg.
From 26 to 28 September 2017, the industry will be showcasing its potential at INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS in Berlin. Europe's largest drone show is being held as part of INTERGEO, the world's leading trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. Drone manufacturers, suppliers, accessory manufacturers, service providers and commercial users from a range of different industries will come together with the top decision-makers from the global UAS community.
SPECIALIST FORUM AND FLIGHTZONE
The practical forum and FlightZone at the Messe Berlin next to TV tower Berlin will focus firmly on best practice, particularly in relation to using drones for surveying and inspection. Whereas a conventional surveying team would need about a week to survey a large construction site, a drone operating in fully automatic mode can accomplish this in just a few minutes, and with a far higher degree of accuracy. Demonstration flights and flight shows from the leading international manufacturers will enable visitors to experience potential applications first-hand.
UAS have also long been used for inspecting systems and buildings. Drones fitted with thermal imaging cameras are able to identify which panel is defective in a solar array. Wind turbine operators and airlines use HD cameras to search every inch of the structure for the tiniest cracks or damage. The same applies to technical inspections of bridges, dams and towers. Drones also offer a safe and reliable solution in areas that would be dangerous for humans, e.g. for complicated maintenance on drilling platforms.
Other topics covered at the practical forum include the use of drones in disaster prevention, emergency response, agriculture, forestry and the safety/security sector.
The large number of experts at the practical forum of INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS is a particular draw for companies who are already testing ambitious drones but have not yet found the real "game changer" for their business model.
SPOTLIGHT ON LEGAL ASPECTS
New drone regulations were passed in Germany in March. Their provisions include the requirement for a "driving licence" for unmanned aircraft weighing more than 2 kilos. This will come into force on 1 October, and can be obtained on passing a theory exam at a centre recognised by the German Federal Aviation Office (LBA). The regulations do not require a practical test.
"However, flight training and experience are just as essential for safe operation as knowledge of the technology and legal foundations. There can be no place in airspace for self-taught pilots using a ‘fly & error' approach," says Frank Lemm, trainer with FF Multicopter & Drones, one of Germany's largest training providers.
It is also as yet unclear who the "recognised centres" will be that are to administer the tests. Interested parties will find the latest information about the drone "driver's licence" at the INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS 2017 forum.
The practical forum will also devote some time and attention to the ever more complex national and international legal regulations, for example by comparing the German drone regulations with the upcoming EU solution. Other topics include data security and data protection.
DRONE PIONEER AWARD
For the first time, INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS will include the presentation of the DRONE PIONEER AWARD. The overarching aim of this award is to promote the development process of drone applications, and is not presented to a single piece of drone technology so much as to solutions arrived at using drones that tackle the global goals set out in the United Nations Agenda 2030.
It is hoped that the DRONE PIONIEER AWARD will encourage leading industrial companies from a number of different sectors to develop unexplored potential drone applications. The award was set up by Michael Wieland from COPTERView, the TRIAD Berlin creative agency and INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS.
About INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS
INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS, consisting of exhibition, forum & flight zone, is Europe's leading platform for unmanned aerial systems (UAS). It is held in a different German location every year, as part of INTERGEO. The Forum deals with current issues from politics, administration, science and industry. The FlightZone in the outdoor zone offers live demonstrations of the various flight systems and thus delivers an all-round experience of products and the market.
With the wealth of potential on offer, INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS highlights the wide range of applications for UAS that already exist and provides a glimpse of future markets. Its forthcoming venues in the years ahead are also internationally renowned exhibition cities, including Berlin in 2017 and Frankfurt in 2018. Around 150 providers from 25 countries are expected to represent the young drone market at the next INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS during this year's INTERGEO. Visitors from all over Europe, North America and the Middle East will be flocking to the German capital. Umbrella association UAV DACH and research company DRONEII are once again the partners of INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS in 2017.