The global market value for drone powered business applications is estimated to be $127.3bn, with infrastructure, agriculture and transport set to be the main industries benefiting from such technology.
According to the PwC report "Clarity from above", the billion dollar value is found in current business services and labour that are likely to be replaced in the very near future by drone powered solutions
Of the different industries predicted to benefit from the introduction of drone-related technology, the infrastructure sector has the best prospects for drone applications, with a total addressable market value of approximately $45.2bn.
In this market, drones can be used to monitor infrastructure and help with maintenance works and asset inventory.
Infrastructure is followed by agriculture ($32.4bn), transport ($13bn) and security ($10bn).
In the media and entertainment space, the drone market value is estimated at $8.8bn with applications including advertising, aerial photography and special effects at events.
Lastly, this is followed by the insurance market ($6.8bn), telecommunications ($6.3bn) and mining ($4.3bn).
Insurance and mining will find potential process improvements as they gain new levels of data quality and accessibility.
The report says that overall, drone-powered solutions are best suited to sectors that require both mobility and a high quality of data.
Adoption of drones in any vertical will vary accordingly to the business needs, yet, all industries will be able to create new business and operating models.
Some sectors will value flight speed and payload capacity, while others wish to concentrate on solutions delivering high-quality, real-time data in a cost-effective way.
Michal Mazur, partner and head of Drone Powered Solutions at PwC for Central and Eastern Europe, said: "With an estimated market value of over $127bn in commercial applications, drones are making the transition from novelty item to indispensable business tool."
In answer to the growing drone market, PwC has also established in Poland a global centre of excellence that uses drones and data analytics to help clients work on their business challenges.
The company’s Polish arm was already testing drone applications since April 2015 and has now announced that it will launch commercial surveyor drones as of this week.
Olga Grygier-Siddons, CEO of PwC in Central and Eastern Europe, said: "This is the first PwC team of its kind anywhere in the world. We see real change happening in the business culture of CEE.
"For a long time, business success in our region has been based on cost competitiveness, but now there is a real desire on the part of our clients and colleagues to compete instead on value, created through innovation."