Drones are saving lives and transforming the way we live and work on an almost daily basis. This is why more than two-thirds (68%) of the British public believes drones will have a positive impact on their lives in the future, and almost half (49%) say they’re excited about the potential drone technology holds.
That’s according to a new research report from the BT and Altitude Angel-led “Project XCelerate,” which is creating a regulated “drone zone” to enable the safe use of drones in commercial and public sectors in the UK.
Project XCelerate’s “The Future of Flight” report finds that 49% want to see more drones being used for risky jobs in place of people, while two in five are keen to see drones extending human capabilities and reaching otherwise inaccessible areas. Accordingly, here are the top four drone uses that the British public wants to see more of in 2022:
- Firefighting: 76%
- Inspecting infrastructure: 70%
- Tracking criminals: 65%
- Investigating crime scenes: 73%
It’s worth highlighting that the public is more wary of use cases that seem purely commercial, such as air taxis, grocery delivery, and private security measures.
Interestingly, for those over 65, human safety is particularly important and they see it as the biggest benefit of using drones. Meanwhile, those under 30 feel that the environmental benefits of drones are equally important to human safety.
However, not everyone has a positive outlook on drones. The report says 38% of people still have concerns about drone use in the UK.
Almost half of all adults worry about drone misuse (46%) and public safety, along with privacy (48%) around personal data and private property. Much of this concern could stem from some public misconceptions also since 47% of Brits believe drone use is unregulated, when in fact, strict regulations for drone operating are in place across the UK and continue to be developed and implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Dave Pankhurst, head of drone solutions at BT, comments on the findings:
It’s encouraging to see that broadly the public recognizes the future opportunities of drone technology, and the positive impact drones can have on society through providing potentially life-saving services. But the findings also highlight the need to better inform the public to help address any concerns they might have around the acceleration of drones in our everyday lives.