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Public Perception of Drones in the UK: 68% See Positive Impact

  • 1 mth ago

Today, new research has been released from the “Project XCelerate” Consortium, led by BT and Altitude Angel, finding that more than two thirds (68%) of the British public believe drones will have a positive impact on their life in the future, with nearly half (49%) saying they are optimistic or excited about the potential drone technology holds.

The British public is most positive about the impact drones can have on society for the greater good, with research finding that 49% hope to see drones used in place of people for risky jobs like firefighting (76%) and inspecting infrastructure (70%). Meanwhile, two in five wish to see drones employed in order to extend human capabilities and reach otherwise inaccessible areas (42%), such as in tracking criminals (65%) or investigating crime scenes (73%).

The over 65 range prioritized human safety, agreeing it was the biggest benefit of drone use. The under 30 group (36%) found the environmental benefits of drones to be equally important to human safety, with a focus on utilizing drones to support reduction in air pollution.

Despite the positive attitude towards the potential for drone applications, 38% of people were still found to have concerns about drone use in the UK, with nearly half of all adults saying drone misuse (46%) and public safety, alongside privacy (48%) around personal data and private property, were their primary concerns. Some concerns may be the result of public misconceptions, as 47% of British citizens were found to believe that drone usage remains unregulated, when in reality, strict regulations are in place for drone operation across the UK and continue to be developed and implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority as usage expands.

This report is just one part of Project XCelerate’s broader work on the UK Government’s Future Flight Programme. The findings will be leveraged to inform the consortium’s work in addressing some of the challenges surrounding the public acceptance of drones.

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