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What Industry Uses Drones the Most?

These days there are many industries using drones. Drones and drone pilots find themselves working in anything from agriculture to shipping, but not all industries use drones equally.

In this article, we will discuss how drones are being used by some of the largest industries in the world and which industries use drones the most.

What business, what industry uses drones the most? It’s a tough question to answer. There are so many industries that have found one use or another for drones to make things more efficient.

But there are seven top players in the running for the industry that uses drones the most.

The top industries using drones include real estate, agriculture, construction, law enforcement, shipping and logistics, and security.

The industry using drones the most out of all of these might surprise you.

1. Agriculture

The first industry to discuss is agriculture. Agriculture has increased the usage of drones by a large margin in the past few years. In the past, plant health mapping was one of the things that drones could do.

However, aside from plant health mapping, their uses were very limited. Mapping technology allowed the drones to fly in an automated path using GPS and create a plan health map using either an RGB multispectral or thermal camera.

While this was extremely useful to farmers, it would only be used here and there because it could provide the farmers a reading of the health during the season.

It is possible for farms to use this technology every day. However, it’s not as effective as doing it over the course of a season on a month-by-month basis.

Where drones really took off (drone joke) in the agricultural industry is their usage as pesticide spraying drones, seeding drones, and fertilizing drones. These are drones made specifically for the purpose of carrying large tanks of pesticides, seeds, and fertilizer.

Shown below is a video example of a drone spraying.

If this article was judging drone usage in industries by the sheer volume of the drones themselves, agriculture would certainly be the winner because the drones they use for carrying pesticides, seeds, and fertilizer are massive.

Some of these drones barely scrape the limit of what is legally still considered an unmanned aerial aircraft. In the past, many farms were owned by individuals, and farms were scattered all over the countryside.

In many cases today, farms are owned by large corporations, and crops are often grown with massive fields placed side-by-side.

In order to fertilize such a large area, seed such a large area, and spray pesticide chemicals on such a large area, drones have been introduced to break this activity down to a science.

» MORE: How Drones are Helping with Sustainability in the Wine Industry

2. Construction

Another industry that is in the running for the industry using the most drones is certainly construction. Construction companies use drones for a plethora of purposes.

One of the most common purposes in construction for using drones is construction progression. Construction progression is useful because the pilot can put the drone in the air for a short amount of time and capture a large area.

Taking construction progression photos daily, weekly, or monthly allows the company to estimate the progression time of the current project as well as future ones and estimate when the project may be finished.

Going over budget and going overtime is detrimental to a construction company, and they begin to lose money in some cases.

Keeping track of the progression is not only good for the construction company but also for the organization funding the project and the clientele that will be using the construction when it is finished.

Another reason why construction photography is so important is because of lawsuit protection.

By having photos and videos of the progression documented, the progression of the project allows for concrete evidence of when the project began, where it’s at now, and where it will be in the future.

Construction also uses drones for topographic mapping. This changes the game of surveying forever. In the old days, a surveyor might spend days working on a site to build a topographic map.

Now drone pilots are able to send a drone up, in some cases for 30 minutes, and create a topographic map on site.

3. Law Enforcement

Another industry in the running for using the most drones is law enforcement. Law enforcement uses drones in a way that teeters between civilian industry and military industry.

However, since law-enforcement deals with civilians, we included them in this article.

Law enforcement uses drones on a daily basis now because they are able to safely monitor criminal activity from a distance.

These days, they’re largely restricted from doing that in private property situations. However, while restrictions apply, there are so many situations every day that occur where drones are used in hostile encounters or search and rescue operations.

We have an extensive article on drones in search and rescue operations.

But to briefly sum up, police and law enforcement using drones, as well as search and rescue teams, are able to deploy drones with standard cameras, as well as thermal cameras, to track down missing persons.

The benefit of using drones in search and rescue is that they give an overhead view of a large area.

The benefit of using thermal drones is that if the area has a canopy or has foliage that may cloak a human body, the thermal camera will pick up a thermal human heat signature.

With this extreme edge given to police, the usage of drones in the industry is getting larger all the time.

4. Shipping and Logistics

Another massive industry that is in the running for the industry that uses the most drones is the shipping and logistics industry.

As the shipping and logistics industry grows, more and more companies turn to drones for delivery monitoring, product and product organization, as well as emergency supplies.

Companies like Amazon, UPS, and Zipline are all using drones to deliver products, as well as using drones in their warehouses to keep track of products.

However, companies like Zipline are using drones every day to deliver medical supplies. Zipline is an example of a logistics and shipping company that makes up a small, but sizable percentage of logistics that only use drones to deliver packages.

5. Real Estate

Another huge industry that uses drones is real estate. Since the invention of drones, even when they were low-tech cameras in the sky, real estate agents saw the potential for having aerial shots of their homes.

In the past, commercial real estate agents would have to hire a helicopter with a photographer on board to capture stunning aerial photography.

Nowadays, aerial photography is a staple of real estate listing. This may likely be the industry that uses drones the most. However, there are still many industries that may take the cake.

6. Film and Photography

Media companies are another huge industry using drones. The question is, is the industry that huge or is the industry using a huge amount of drones.

Well, since drones were able to be fitted with Cinema level cameras, due to the increased size and stability, drones have seen a massive leap in usage in film in the cinema industry.

Movies today are almost guaranteed to use a drone shot(s). In the past, if drones were used, it was usually in an action movie where chase sequences or fight scenes on top of the building were occurring.

While this is still the case (you can guarantee that a drone is used in a chase or fight scene), even dramatic movies where there is little to no action or romantic comedies are likely to have a drone shot of them just because it’s a way to tell the story that is better than on the ground camera.

Showing a shot of your subjects from the sky is an excellent way to make them look small, or to show the grandeur of what lies before them.

7. Security

The final industry that we will include in this article in the running of the industry using the most drones in security.

The security industry uses drones notoriously for guarding nuclear power plants. This is because nuclear power plants are a key piece of infrastructure to the energy grid of many countries.

Using drones, patrolling day and night, allow security teams guarding nuclear industries to protect their assets in the best way possible by having an eye in the sky. This aspect is similar to law enforcement.

Security companies might use standard RGB cameras but will often use a thermal infrared camera so they can spot any heat or body movement from up to half a mile away, and in some cases, even more.

Being that they use drones day and night, this may well be the industry using drones the most.

The Winner: What industry uses drones the most?

The winner, while it may seem like an underdog with these huge industries that possess some of the biggest names known to the world, such as Amazon, have been beat out by the real estate industry.

While it’s true that no one company in the real estate industry can beat a company using drones such as Zipline, there are thousands of real estate companies all across the world that are using a drone or hiring a drone pilot every hour.

Hundreds of thousands of pilots are providing aerial photography, videography, and mapping to real estate companies.

These real estate companies rely on Part 107 pilots to provide them with quality aerial photography and videography because without aerial photography and videography, their listing may be overshadowed by another realtor.

In some cases, the real estate agent may hire a pilot to 3-D map a property that is large enough to make use of the model.

While many of these industries might use a drone to perform a service that is important, the real estate industry is relying on aerial photography and videography to be the service.

One of the main parts of being a realtor, a real estate agent, or real estate investor is providing quality, images and video of the property.

The sheer number of agents and investors hiring drone pilots every second overshadows and overpowers all the other industries that may have ten times the money in them. Real-estate wins.