There may never have been a more exciting time to be in the drone industry than right now. Every day more and more industries are finding ways to implement unmanned aerial vehicles and the technology behind them is only increasing their utility.

Construction Tool

Machinery in the construction world is often associated cranes, bulldozers and other large vehicles, but drones have more than found a niche of late.

Surveying and imaging have never been easier for construction project managers due to the sensor-based technology of today’s drones coupled with their strong imaging capabilities.

DroneDeploy.com reports that drone use on construction sites rose 239 percent from 2017 to 2018 and there are no signs of slowing down. Aside from mapping sites, drones have proven to be useful in eliminating waste of construction products. According to Forbes, $160 billion per year is wasted on construction sites. Much of this is due to inefficient use, something drones can help curtail.

Underwater Insights

Drones may be soaring through the air with more prevalence now, but they are also making waves beneath the ocean surface. Underwater drones have been around for years, but now they are providing imaging, data and insight like never before.

Companies like ASTRALite are also providing seaside insights from above with disaster recovery imaging, underwater construction surveying and coastal mapping.

For more casual uses, the implementation of 4K cameras has made drones more popular among the general public.

Regulation

Drones are still a relatively new part of everyday life and continue to cross into uncharted territory. Naturally, government regulation continues to evolve around drones in order to keep people safe.

At the end of 2018, the United States Congress passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act. This was a significant development for the industry and one that will allow commercial pilots to advance.

“What we were dealing with before that was, essentially, commercial operators were held to one standard and, if you were using it as a hobby, it was held to another standard. That’s a very big loophole,” Mike Pehel, Managing Director at InterDrone said on a January MarketScale podcast. “Honestly, drones weren’t going to be able to move forward, on the level that we wanted, as an industry, if that loophole existed.”

LiDAR and Mapping Becomes Standard

Drone imaging can provide significant insight, but technology like Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is propelling industries to new levels of data.

This development is critical for professionals in industries like construction who need precise data on elevation changes, terrain, foliage and more before purchasing or operating on a piece of land.

Coupled with advanced software programs, commercial drone users will be able to map, fly, process and execute projects with more precision and efficiency going forward.

Whether it is in a backyard, the beach or a multi-million dollar work site, drone users of all kinds have something to look forward to in 2019.

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