How are drones used commercially?

As an Air Force officer, I am often asked about drones. I'm asked about my views because the United States Government uses them in war, and the commercial sector is growing at such a rapid clip.


By 2026 the drone industry is expected to double, from $27.4B to $58.4B! That's enormous, and if the forecast model is correct, the technology will increasingly interact with more of our lives.


Although this is incredible, it isn't if you're a Luddite. Or, if you didn't enjoy Eye in the Sky! (Psst, the trailer is below.)

Link to Trailer

All this aside, it's pretty challenging to pick one aspect enticing about drone use. Perhaps, a good cop-out answer would be that it's exciting to see the continual evolution of drone tech, and it'll be fun to witness its widespread commercial adoption. But that's a half-baked answer. The truth is that there are so many uses; it's worth knowing what they are before I reveal my favorite.


So take a look at some of the possible benefits below!


What are some commercial applications of drones?

Drone technology is wide-reaching. From retail to advertising to defense or journalism, drones are integrated everywhere in the commercial sector.

Example #1: Real Estate

Aerial surveillance can identify a property's lot size. Then, depending on the property's dimensions, the videos may help sellers more accurately show the property to prospective buyers. So, in a way, drones offer real value by generating optimal information for all involved in the transaction.


Example #2: Personnel Recovery

Drone companies can play a significant role when looking for an injured person on the mountainside when attempting a search-and-rescue operation. Instead of walking from one ridge to another, a faster and more efficient rescue operation can employ drones to cover a larger amount of terrain in less time. In rescue operations, finding a critically injured person within time parameters is of the utmost importance.


Example #3: Defense

Not only do the unmanned vehicles lessen lethal risks to on-the-ground soldiers, but the technology also allows for enhanced surveillance to corroborate targets, provides tactical situational awareness, and can even conduct battle damage assessments. All of these reduce hours wasted and create a more efficient apparatus.


Here is a video on other surprising uses of drones, as reported by the Financial Times!

Courtesy of the Financial Times


Concluding Thoughts

As drone companies and operators brainstorm more ways to drive value, the trends support the idea that society, writ large, will use drones more.


From real estate videos shot above properties to surveillance of oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, the discovered benefits are vast. And, humans are only now beginning to understand some of the untold uses.


It's this latter idea, in particular, that excites me. And, what I love most!


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