PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has created an application that integrates, manages and delivers drone collected data in one convenient, easy to use interface of a web browser.

The application is expected to draw interest as more utilities take on board the benefits of drone technology. It has increased in relevance in the US, where losses from network outages are estimated to have been worth $169bn.
Drone technology
The tool is used for measuring and analysing geospatial data and for integration with data from your company. The application is adjustable and modular, while the available image data in it is easily comparable as a result of its quantification. All operations, including data integration, conducted on cloud servers, which solves the problem of slowing down computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. In addition, the data is securely stored in accordance with the strictest PwC data assurance.

In August of 2016 the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) issued new laws to regulate commercial drones. Utility companies were quick to take advantage of the new rules. Chris Hickling of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) the trade group of investor-owned utilities in the US said: “We’ve certainly heard from our members that they’re excited about this technology. They see it as part of building a smarter infrastructure. We see it as an area that’s going to continue to grow.”

In the state of Florida, companies such as Florida Power and Light and Gulf Power are authorized by the FAA to use drones. The drones have high quality video cameras that can take photos and videos of difficult-to-reach areas. The drones cost about $6,000 each but they save money and reduce employee risk by reaching swampy areas and areas with downed trees.

The new technology helped companies restore power to consumers after the devastation created by, Irma, the recent hurricane that hit the state. The FAA issued 132 airspace authorizations after the storm.

FAA administrator Michael Hurta said: “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the hurricane response will be looked back upon as a landmark in the evolution of drone usage in this country.”