Public wary of commercial drones

January 03, 2014, 3:21 PM GMT+0

Few Americans have faith that commercial drones will be properly regulated, while fears over the safety of drones are increasing.

This past Monday the Federal Aviation Administration announced testing sites for commercial drone use. This is an important step in the road to widespread usage of unmanned commercial aircraft, something which may potentially lower the cost and time of transporting goods while also improving safety - for the workers, at least. In a YouGov poll from December 2nd 2013, 38% of Americans said that they believed a new delivery drone system from Amazon would be possible within the next five years. In actuality, it may be even sooner than that, as large companies like DHL, Domino's, and Amazon are all increasingly attracted to the proposition of commercial drones.

According to the latest YouGov research, only 3% of people have 'complete' trust in the ability of the government to properly regulate the use of commercial drones, while 43% say that they don't trust the government at all. Overall, Democrats (33%) have more faith in the government's regulatory abilities regarding the drones than either Independents (18%) or Republicans (11%) do.

Though delivery drones may have the added benefit of keeping people out of harsh weather conditions - as well as faster delivery speeds - Americans are wary of this new way of receiving consumer goods. Only a quarter of Americans (23%) maintain that drone delivery is a good idea, but the number of those who think it's a bad idea has increased nearly ten percent, 36% to 45% in the last month, as commercial drones become an increasingly likely feature of American society in coming years.

Concerns about safety have similarly increased in recent months and may in large part explain increased skepticism of commercial drones. Currently, just over half of all Americans (51%) think that these drones are unsafe, up slightly from 47% in early December 2013.

Full poll results can be found here and here.

Image: Getty Images

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