The market for drones is rapidly expanding, and according to new research, we may see a drastic shift in human labor needs by 2020 due to growing innovation in this sector.
According to the consulting firm PwC, drones could replace up to $127 billion of human services and labor by 2020; drones currently account for about $2 billion of these services today.
The industries most affected by this will be infrastructure, agriculture, and transportation, which will account for $90.6 billion of the drone market.
Business Insider notes that likely primary applications for drones will be increasing efficacy and speed of delivery services (for both food and goods), analyzing data, and monitoring infrastructure quality.
While this is fantastic news for many businesses, which could save billions in employee costs, it is troubling for workers who are involved in construction, farming, and other labor-intensive industries.
Outsourcing and globalization have already moved millions of American jobs to other regions of the world, and now expanding drone technology could replace millions of workers who make their living off blue-collar work.
This concern with drones reflects a battle workers in many industries are currently facing, such as the coal industry. While the U.S. is rightly attempting to transition to clean energy due to the growing threat of climate change, this noble goal negatively affects coal miners in rural states who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
If drone technologyis indeed going to be used to replace $127 billion in human services within the next four years, it will become necessary to also invest massive amounts of money into job training to offset the ramifications of this.
Banner Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Nicolas Halftermeyer