The drone industry will be worth as much as $127 billion by 2020, according to consulting group PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
The global market for commercial applications of drone technology is currently worth an estimated $2 billion, but new applications and an increase in demand will help fuel explosive growth in the industry.
One project envisions drones flying over wheat fields to detect areas where crops are failing and then calling in reinforcements to tackle affected zones by spraying pesticide or nutrients, according to Bloomberg.
“The cost of drone technology is falling so quickly that a number of everyday applications are becoming cost-efficient,” Piotr Romanowski, a PwC partner and Business Advisory Leader for central and eastern Europe, told reporters.
Before the industry achieves its massive growth drone manufacturers will need to overcome regulatory hurdles. “The key barrier is actually the lack of legislation regarding the use of drones,” Michal Mazur, head of Drone Powered Solutions at PwC in Switzerland.
The first country to issue drone-based legislation for commercial uses was Poland. Laws in that region require training for pilots, rules for BVLOS (beyond visible line of sight) flights and insurance regulations,
PwC is setting up a team of 40 people in Warsaw that will focus drone technology and data analytics in the quickly growing business.