Drone tech to add billions to UK economy, says industry experts
Drone commercialisation is predicted to add billions to the UK economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs by 2030, according to a landmark white paper submitted to the UK government this week.
The white paper, ‘A National Strategy for Drones Across Land, Sea and Air’, was compiled by the Drone Delivery Group, a UK initiative formed in 2018 made up of over 400 leading industry experts to support the government’s development of drones in the UK.
Drone technology has found a real foothold in enterprises ever since the Covid-19 pandemic. The need to deliver and receive medical supplies while travel was banned meant drones presented an unexpected viable solution to an urgent operational issue.
Outlined in the strategy, the Drone Delivery Group claims the industry will only continue to thrive if the UK can accommodate the adoption of autonomous drone technology both safely and securely.
One of the major concerns driving the new roadmap is to address the absence of communication between the application of regulations and industry standards connecting air, land and maritime drones.
The problem, according to group senior advisory board chairman Robert Garbett, is that for centuries it has been widely accepted that traditional forms of transport would not evolve past their original purpose, “with aircraft flying in the sky, ships sailing on seas and cars driving on roads.” Yet with the potential of the drone industry, “this is now no longer the case”, he urged.
“Drones have created a paradigm shift which requires an evolution in the way the UK regulates in this area to avoid stifling an opportunity for UK Plc which could force the majority of drone business overseas.”
The market is already set to boom this year, especially with the likes of social bots, while the war in Ukraine has paved the way for an entirely new market.
According to industry experts, drone technology can also deliver £45bn in contributions to the UK and £22bn in net savings by 2030, equivalent to some 1.6% of projected GDP.
The UK’s climate change targets could also be met as experts predict drone commercialisation to reduce carbon emissions by around 2.4m tonnes as it removes the need for vehicles on the road.
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