PwC survey finds drone adoption in UK hit by negative public perception

PwC survey on dronesImage: Only 31% of the public have positive opinion on drones, says PwC survey. Photo: courtesy of Pexels/Pixabay.

A survey conducted by PwC says that adoption of drones in the UK is affected by public perceptions with only 31% of the public having a positive opinion on them while more than two thirds are worried about the possible use of the flying objects for criminal purposes.

In contrast, 56% of business leaders are positive about the unmanned aerial vehicles and the benefits they bring along, found the survey, dubbed as ‘Building trust in drones – the importance of education, accountability and reward’. In this lot, 83% of them are already deploying the flying objects for their business.

Overall the survey makes it clear that business find low public confidence in drone technology to be a hindrance to business development, said PwC.

UK Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said: “Drones could transform how we move people and goods around, boosting our economy and even saving lives.

“A drone used safely and responsibly is a great asset, which is why the Government is encouraging innovation and the development of technology in its forthcoming Aviation Strategy and Future Flight Challenge.”

More than a third of business leaders, at 35%, are of the opinion that the unmanned aerial vehicles are not being adopted in their industry owing to negative perceptions. This is in spite of 43% in the survey believing that their industry would benefit from the use of the technology.

PwC said that the negative perception over the flying objects is driven by a lack of understanding from the public and business alike of their applications. A little over half, at 53% of business leaders agreed that there is no understanding of drones in general, which is why they are not thought to be used for their business.

PwC UK drones leader Elaine Whyte said: “There are clear disparities in attitudes towards drones between business and the wider public. It is also strikingly clear that the potential of drone technologies is not fully understood.

“The drone community across industry, government and civil society needs to change the public discourse from one of uncertainties and toys, to one of opportunity and accountability.

“This can be achieved through better education on the wealth of use cases for drones, as well as increasing understanding of regulation and accountability. The public will only trust a new technology if they understand who is regulating and providing oversight.”

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