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2021 prediction: Fifth of businesses will use drones to automate operations

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Lianna Brinded
·Head of Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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Visitors learn about drones at the 22nd China Hi-Tech Fair (CHTF) held in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Nov. 11, 2020. Photo: Xinhua/Mao Siqian via Getty Images
Visitors learn about drones at the 22nd China Hi-Tech Fair (CHTF) held in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Nov. 11, 2020. Photo: Xinhua/Mao Siqian via Getty Images

A fifth of businesses across the world will use commercial drones to automate business operations in 2021 as the globe adapts to new way of living during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a study by research and consultancy firm Forrester, the way COVID-19 has shaped the way the consumer industry and how businesses can be run safely, means that there has been an acceleration of bringing commercial drones onto the market.

A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle/aircraft that does not have a human pilot on board and therefore can be controlled remotely.

“Recent rapid growth in the consumer drones industry has sparked momentum in the commercial drone market,” said Forrester in its research.

“In 2019, 12% of global infrastructure decision-makers said that their firm owns or leases drones. Commercial drone registration took off in the US and in China, as over 1,300 drone manufacturers produced and registered more than 330,000 drones.

Watch: Amazon Prime Air is heading to your town with drone deliveries

“While social distancing is a factor in drone usage, two forces will accelerate adoption in 2021. First, governments are crafting better regulations to facilitate drone adoption and commercialisation, with Amazon Prime Air gaining FAA approval for drone deliveries and India driving drone pilot training with new policies.”

The group added that the “rapid evolution” of 5G will help turbo-charge efforts of using drones.

READ MORE: Amazon's drones delivery fleet gets FAA Approval

In July this year, The Drone Market Report 2020-2025 report by ResearchAndMarkets.com revealed that the global drone market will grow to over $42.8bn (£33bn) in 2025, from $22.5bn this year.

It says that the energy industry will be the largest industry on the drone market but transportation & warehousing is growing the fastest and will be the second-largest market by 2025.

In October this year, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) conducted trials in the country of Essex, using GPS-enabled remote-controlled aircraft to carry blood tests and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Watch: Space Agency lift off for NHS drone delivery service