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Annual Revenue for Drone Tech for T&D Expected to Reach $4.1 Billion by 2024

Sept. 30, 2015
Improved safety and reliability create a strong value proposition for unmanned aerial vehicles and robotics technologies among transmission and distribution utilities, report finds

A new report from Navigant Research examines the market for drone and robotics technologies for transmission and distribution (DRTD), providing an analysis of market issues and global forecasts for revenue, segmented by region and technology, through 2024.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) and other robotic technologies are rapidly finding purpose in a variety of commercial applications, including transmission and distribution (T&D). Operators and utilities around the world are now looking to these solutions to reduce costs, improve safety, and increase reliability and response times for their systems. According to a new report from Navigant Research, global annual DRTD revenue is expected to grow from $131.7 million in 2015 to $4.1 billion in 2024.

“For many years, T&D utilities in all regions of the world have been performing line inspections and maintenance, storm damage assessments, and vegetation management using traditional line crews and helicopters,” says James McCray, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “The use of drones and robotics for T&D inspection and maintenance not only represents a rapidly growing revenue stream for technology and outsourced services providers, but it could also help keep crews safer.”

Working on high- and medium-voltage T&D systems comes with significant hazard, and the line worker’s job is considered among the top 10 most dangerous occupations in the United States, according to the report. Though the DRTD market is still in its early stages, with new developments and product releases occurring daily, the value proposition for T&D utilities to complete at least a portion of inspections, maintenance, and damage assessments via UAVs and robotics is strong.

The report, Drones and Robotics for Utility Transmission and Distribution, analyzes the global market for DRTD solutions, with a focus on five categories: multi-rotor UAVs, fixed wing UAVs, ground and line robotics, integration and analytics solutions, and inspection services. The study also provides an analysis of the market issues, including drivers and barriers and regulatory factors, associated with DRTD solutions. Global market forecasts for revenue, segmented by technology and region, extend through 2024. The report also examines the key technologies related to UAVs and robotics, as well as the competitive landscape.

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