Drone usage increases in UK construction

drone technology,
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The number of construction companies using drone technology in the UK and Ireland has increased significantly, although more advanced digital/reality capture outputs continue to be underutilised

According to a survey by ProDroneWorx, the use of digital/reality capture information from drone technology continues to increase in the UK and Irish construction industries, with 52% of respondents now using the technology compared with only 33% in 2017.

ProDroneWorx asked senior figures within the construction, infrastructure and asset inspection markets about their perception, usage and understanding of the digital/reality capture outputs from drones. The response to this survey was impressive with 150 respondents taking part across the UK and Ireland.

Leading construction company Kier said: “The latest Prodroneworx survey demonstrates how far drone technology has progressed. Kier is working closely with Prodroneworx on some key projects to realise the benefits from drone technology, including progress capture, 360 photography and photogrammetry.”

Steven Hedley, Vice-President Technical at the CIAT said: “As regulation and licencing laws surrounding drone usage tighten, it is imperative that specialist drone operators continue to facilitate the development of drone technology and its integration with Building Information Modelling (BIM) within our industry to maximise benefits and minimise misuse.”

According to the survey, the top 3 reasons for adopting the technology are improved data quality (56%), time-saving (54%) and the reduction of risk (42%). Interestingly, fewer companies than last year are planning on utilising drone technology in-house, reflecting, perhaps the level of knowledge and expertise needed to deploy them.

However, the findings of this survey also demonstrate that drone technology is currently being underutilised. While 74% of respondents are using drone technology for photography and video, fewer than 30% of respondents are using the technology for value add services like aerial LiDAR, 3D point clouds, 3D modelling, digital surface/terrain models, orthophotos and thermal imaging.

Ian Tansey, Managing Director at ProDroneWorx, said: “In a world of very tight margins of about 2% in construction, and an increasingly competitive landscape, the use of digital/reality capture data gives firms a significant competitive advantage over their peers through improved data quality, reduced costs, increased productivity gains and the mitigation of risk”.


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