Once the preserve of massive military budgets, drones are now making significant strides in commercial industry, initiating substantial efficiency gains. Now drone technology has reached commercial relevance, and much more is predicted to follow. A future as a vital part of infrastructure beckons, not just in maintenance but also in mobile infrastructure in isolated areas of the world. Regulations allowing, drones are entering a period of development during which many industries – most notably construction and agriculture – will very quickly look very different.
How drones fit into industry of tomorrow has been subject to debate for quite some time – now possible answers are becoming clear. Facebook and others are investing in using drones as a critical element of developing infrastructure. Drones capable of staying airborne for months, beaming down 5G signals, are being lifted from drawing boards to test programs. Autonomous drones are coming closer to becoming commercial reality – the days of such capability being limited to military use are declining in number. Drones could very soon enter the mainstream in a way seemingly unimaginable just a few years ago.