Drone usage in UK construction industry has ‘increased significantly’, survey finds by Commercial Dr

The number of construction companies in the UK and Ireland that are using drone technology has increased significantly, a ProDroneWorx survey has found.

The survey found that despite more advanced digital/reality capture outputs continue to be underutilised, the use of digital/reality capture information from drone technology continues to increase in the UK and Irish construction industries.

52% of participants responded saying that they are 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, with 150 people taking part across the UK and Ireland altogether.

As part of its response, 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.”

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%.

Steven Hedley, vice-president technical at the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, 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.”

The report went on to detail though how fewer companies than last year are now planning on utilising drone technology in-house, reflecting, perhaps the level of knowledge and expertise needed to deploy them.

However, the findings also demonstrated that drone technology is currently being underutilised.

Despite the fact that 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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Drone usage in UK construction industry has ‘increased significantly’, survey finds

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