The use of drones in Australia has grown almost 200 per cent in the past year according to latest data from US-based drone software platform developer DroneDeploy.
DroneDeploy said based on responses from its local customers, Australian drone usage grew by 190.6 per cent and unique users by 342.2 per cent during the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2020.
It said commercial drone use worldwide had risen significantly during the COVID pandemic with research and consultancy firm Forester predicting one in every five global businesses will use commercial drones in 2021.
Asia-Pacific countries are among world leaders in the adoption of drone technology and Australia is now the second largest global market for DroneDeploy which has more than 5000 customers across more than 200 countries.
COVID-19 has boosted the uptake of drones with a range of industries including agriculture looking to find more human-free ways of doing jobs.
They can also reduce farm accidents by replacing humans and vehicles to do jobs like farm inspections and mustering.
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Some analysts have suggested the global commercial drone market will exceed $US43 billion by 2024.
According to DroneDeploy's latest data, agriculture is the biggest user of drones in Australia followed by the construction sector.
In the construction industry DroneDeploy is helping partners like Hansen Yuncken and Downer Grouptransform construction and jobsite automation through 360 Walkthrough technology which offers full interior and exterior reality capture from the ground and air.
A federal government study published by Deloitte Access Economics last October estimated drones were contributing $5.5 billion to the Australian economy which would rise to $14.5 billion by 2040.
Agriculture, mining and construction would remain the major users, the report said.