Can Drones Change The Way The World’s Infrastructure Is Built?

When it comes to infrastructure around the world, drone technology has incredible potential, particularly in the road and railway sectors at the moment which, according to a new PwC report, have already begun to gain a competitive edge through the implementation of drone powered solutions across all stages of the infrastructure life cycle.

The study indicates that drones can be used at nearly every single stage for transport infrastructure, from construction and investment monitoring to maintenance. For example, during the construction phase, drones can gain data that can then be used to make quick decisions and alterations to the plans already in place. It’s also possible to use them to detect and prevent trespassing in a bid to improve site safety.

The PwC Drone Powered Solutions (DPS) team has already calculated that if the average construction site is in fact monitored by drones, the number of life-threatening accidents could be reduced by up to 91 per cent.

“Drones and the data they provide are a game changer over the entire lifecycle of a transport infrastructure investment. Provision of real-time, accurate and comparable 3D modelling data is crucial during the pre-construction, construction and operational phases of an investment project, and all of this data can be acquired by intelligent and cost-effective drone powered solutions,” head of DPS at PwC Central and Eastern Europe Michal Mazur said.

Director of the DPS team Adam Wisniewski made further comments, saying that companies now looking for new ways in which to accomplish tasks like maintenance, asset inventory and investment monitoring should consider drone powered solutions, which can be safer, more cost-effective and faster than more traditional methods. As he explains, drones are fast becoming a truly essential tool for construction sites – so perhaps this is worth bearing in mind this 2017.

It certainly seems as though changes will have to come to the fore if sustainable development of cities around the world is to be achieved. Further research from PwC has found that there are now key challenges that will arise from rapid urbanisation, including infrastructure delivery and housing provision. Some 1.5 million people move into cities around the world each week and it’s estimated that there will be an extra two billion new urban citizens come the year 2050, the majority concentrated in developing countries.

As PwC observes, investing in good solid infrastructure is absolutely fundamental to rapidly expanding cities. In order to accommodate these growth levels, PwC estimates that $78 trillion in global infrastructure will be required over the next decade, with the likes of New York, Shanghai, Beijing and London requiring $8 trillion in infrastructure investments alone.

Technology is now offering those involved in the infrastructure industry the chance to deliver public services in new and innovative ways, whether that’s through the use of drones or offering app-based transport solutions and collecting municipal data using smartphones.

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