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January 8, 2018updated 09 Jan 2018 4:33pm

PwC pilots UK drone team for industry disruption

PwC foresees the emerging business service drive market as being worth in excess of $127 billion.

By Tom Ball

Getting behind the emerging technology, PwC has launched a drone team in the UK to provide clients with disruptive capabilities, including access to valuable data insights.

Among the industries thought most likely to benefit from the project are infrastructure, agriculture and transport, subsequently forming a focus for the new team.

The team will consist of six full-time employees while there will be specialists within the organisations main business areas, deals and consulting, assurance and tax. Sectors including national security, power and utilities and construction will also be connected with specialists.

PwC pilots UK drone team for industry disruption

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.”

PwC foresees drone technology becoming a household source of data, intending for it to become a ‘business as usual’ component in providing insights to clients.

“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,” Whyte said.

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PwC is planning to work with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport in providing its services, while also aware of the need for regulation and standards. The UK government is set to announce a drone bill, a step seen by the UK drones leader at PwC  as a positive step.

Jon Andrews, head of technology and investment at PwC, said: “Technology is central to our strategy. By combining our business understanding and services with investment in emerging technology, we are developing innovative new ways to support our clients. Our drones team is the latest example of how we are helping clients embrace and respond to disruptive trends.”

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