The potential drones have to make a variety of tasks faster, cheaper or safer have been talked about for years now, but this potential is finally being quantified. Drones have been touted as enabling a potential 90% in timesavings, while the costs associated with using drone vs. a survey crew are exponentially different. These differences are real, and they’re opening up exciting new possibilities for a variety of organizations.
Not everyone has been able to come up with these kinds of measurables though, and that has led to adoption challenges. It’s one thing to say a piece of a technology is going to make a given task faster, cheaper or safer, but what does that actually mean to the organization? Additionally, difficulties arise when it comes to establishing a value for something that never happened because it was prevented through the use of a drone. How can savings in time and expenses be calculated when they never occur?
The difficulty of establishing these sorts of measurables is part of the reason the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) efforts around drone adoption are so notable. They created estimates that determined the early detection of the fire by drones saved $50 million in land and infrastructure value that could have otherwise been lost. While their adoption of drone technology goes beyond the bottom line, being able to calculate that number and savings is critical for numerous reasons.