PwC Drone Team Takes Off in the UK

Global consultancy giant PwC has expanded its drone services team to the UK. The move comes after the company’s Clarity from Above report suggested that the emerging global market for business services using drones is worth more than $127bn. 

PwC’s new UK team will attempt to help the company’s many clients take advantage of emerging drone technology and find value in the data collected.

PwC’s UK Drone Team

The UK drones team will start off with six dedicated full-time employees, led by Elaine Whyte. On top of that, the team will be supplemented by specialists in each of the consultancy’s major business areas: assurance, tax, deals and consulting. There will also be specialists focused on the use of drones in power and utilities, national security and construction.

Currently PwC’s UK arm has over 2,100 technologists. The company intends the use of drones and aerial data to become a ‘business as usual’ part of the insight it delivers to clients.

Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC, said:

“We’re excited by the potential this technology has to offer, and foresee significant market growth in the coming years. Having spent 20 years as an engineer in the RAF, I have seen first-hand the benefits that an aerial view can bring in terms of situational awareness and added insight.

“The majority of organisations are still using drone data at project stage, rather than embedding the technology into their strategy. I believe we’ll see drones becoming part of business as usual within the next ten years. We’re already seeing early adopters in large-scale capital projects using drone data to enhance insight into their investments, allowing for better control of building sites and creating that definitive golden record of information.

“For UK organisations to really take advantage of this disruptive technology it’s vital we have the right standards and regulation in place. The recent step by the government to announce the upcoming drone bill is positive and we’ll work closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport to continue to help provide input as standards develop.”

The PwC drone team will work with clients in three areas:

  • Asset maintenance and monitoring;
  • Capital projects and construction monitoring;
  • Strategic planning for deploying drone solutions across an organisation.

Jon Andrews, head of technology and investment at PwC, said “Technology is central to our strategy. By combining our business understanding and services with investment in emerging technology, we are developing innovative new ways to support our clients. Our drones team is the latest example of how we are helping clients embrace and respond to disruptive trends.”

The combination of our expertise in cyber security and data analytics with the drones team’s insight is at the heart of how we will help businesses unlock the full potential of drones for their future success.”

PwC has some experience in the industry already, having set up a Drone Powered Solutions team in Poland last year. Progressive regulations in Poland have made it a hub for UAV innovation. The UK’s publicly positive stance toward the technology has already encouraged the likes of Amazon to test drone delivery capabilities there.

Malek Murison is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for tech trends and innovation.
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