DroneDeploy surveyed more than 600 drone users across more than 20 industries spanning over 40 countries, with the goal to determine how vital drone technology is. According to DroneDeploy, 66% of the respondents among its agricultural clients believe annotations and measurement are the most important tools – to help with documentation (52%) and improve farm operations (56%).
Plant health is valued by 54% of the respondents helping in planning and regular evaluation. Agricultural drone usage is more seasonally dependent than other industries, as farmers use drones to identify soil issues for planting, check on crop progress during the summer, and aid with harvest in the fall.
According to DroneDeploy, 46% of respondents in the agricultural sector said they use drones a few times a month in their operations, with 33% using them weekly. One out of ten (10%) said they use them daily.
For agricultural customers, “improved operations” is the biggest benefit that drones provide (56%). It’s closely followed by “increased productivity” (52%) and “reduced cost” (45%).
In general, DroneDeploy says their study shows that despite the pandemic, industries (agriculture, construction, energy) are still investing in drone technology. 88% of respondents expect to increase or maintain their spend on drone operations in 2021. The company says this number is consistent with last year’s results, showing that even with all of the cost-cutting amidst the pandemic, companies are still willing to invest in drone technology.
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DroneDeploy states the pandemic also proved drones could become the perfect “socially distant workers,” allowing companies to continue vital operations while limiting or eliminating in-person visits. “We saw it first hand with our customers: in April and May, at the height of the first pandemic lockdown, there was a 160% increase in enterprise flights compared to the same period in 2019. And even in a year ruled by the pandemic, we saw a 259% growth in enterprise users in 2020 vs. 2019.
“What may be even more compelling: the number of enterprise users grew by 1.6x more in 2020 than in 2013-2019 combined. Considering such substantial growth, it will be interesting to see, next year, how companies not only continue to respond to the pandemic but how many more will scale their drone programs.”