Innovation and changeDigital TransformationPwC hits new heights with launch of UK drone team

PwC hits new heights with launch of UK drone team

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 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 $127bn 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. The UK firm has more than 2,100 technologists and aims for drone data to become a ‘business as usual’ part of the insight it delivers to clients.

Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC, said: “We’re excited by the potential this technology has to offer, and foresee significant market growth in the coming years. 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 disruptive 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. These can make a crucial difference in managing costs, controlling risks and improving safety. This offers a powerful new perspective and competitive edge.

The 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.

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