Drones are often used in areas of high risk or requiring a high level of precision. Drones can be operated on a pre-defined flight plan or be controlled remotely. GPS, video surveillance, voice recording, and remote communication of data are commonly integrated into the vehicles.

Drones have found industrial use for land survey, media creation, safety and surveillance, and shipping and logistics. Commercial use has grown drastically with small, affordable drones that can be controlled with a mobile device, often with HD video cameras. Drones are now firmly planted in the military sector and continue to see increased growth.


  • Remote controlled or automatically flown without a pilot
  • Contain cameras, sensors, GPS, and other mobile technologies to enable successful flight capabilities
  • Technology can be applied at the large scale military or industry level, or at the smaller scale consumer goods level
  • Creation and understanding of regulations remains a key concern for both industrial and consumer drones

Drones in practice

Media and entertainment companies are using drones for aerial photography, filming and special effects. That video you saw of a volcano in Iceland erupting? Or the shots for Planet Earth II of animals living in treetops in the jungles of Costa Rica? Or how about the synchronised American flag display at the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show?

Monitoring security fences, ports, airports, concerts and performances, banks and armored cars typically requires time and manpower. It can also be costly and even risky. Drones can hover and follow objects or people at a safe distance. And they can cover large areas faster than humans.

Inspecting and maintaining structures like wind turbines, bridges and even skyscrapers costs money and manpower – and it’s dangerous. Right now, a standard wind turbine inspection costs about $1,500 per tower. The same inspection using a drone cuts the cost by around 50%.

Contact us

Andrew Watkins

China and Hong Kong Technology and Disruption Leader, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +[852] 2289 2716

Dick Fong

Partner, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +[852] 2289 1986

Chun Yin Cheung

Partner, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +[86] (21) 2323 3927

Akihiko Katayama

Director, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +[852] 2289 6490

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