Those who attended the world’s largest conference on drones in Amsterdam the first week of December 2019 heard that only a small majority of Americans view drones favorably, while a strong majority have serious safety concerns about them. However, Americans overwhelmingly expect drones to begin home deliveries in the next five to 10 years.
Those contradictory findings were shared by veteran U.S. political and crisis communications expert John Ashford, chairman of The Hawthorn Group, an Alexandria, Virginia based public affairs firm. They were based on a poll Hawthorn commissioned from TargetPoint, who completed 801 telephone interviews between Nov. 17-19, 2019, with a margin of error of +/- three points.
Additional data on shooting down drones and security threats from Chinese manufactured drones came from an online poll conducted by 1Q on Nov. 25.
The TargetPoint poll’s finding included:
- Americans expect drones to be more prevalent and currently trust the industry
- 70% expect home delivery in 5-10 years.
- 68% believe that commercial use over communities will be safe.
- However, support for drones is soft.
- 58% think drones are a good idea; 42% do not
- 51% support neighborhood deliveries; 49% think they are too dangerous.
- A strong majority is concerned about safety and drones.
- 68% are concerned; only 7% are not concerned at all.
- An overwhelming majority expect something will go wrong and support regulation.
- 82% believe commercial drones used for small scale and cargo deliveries will cause a serious accident sooner or later.
- 71% have privacy concerns.
- 93% want some form of regulation.
- The 1Q poll found that Chinese made drones raise additional concerns
- 83% think security concerns about Chinese manufacturers are valid.
- 71% think Chinese-made drones should be banned from U.S. government agencies.
- 55% think Chinese-made drones should be banned from U.S. businesses and individuals.