New research dives deep into American attitudes on drone delivery

american drone delivery survey

Last week, a survey tried to explain why some Lockeford residents have been feeling less than enthused about the arrival of Amazon drone deliveries in their city. But a fresh report that has come out today claims that a solid majority of Americans (58%) are in favor of drone delivery.

This new survey, polling more than 1,000 consumers across the US, was commissioned by open source drone software company Auterion. California-based Auterion is working with more than 100 drone manufacturers, many of which are building cargo drones. As such, the success of Auterion’s autonomous mobility platform, in part, depends on how Americans feel about drone delivery.

And here’s what the data from Auterion’s 2022 Consumer Attitudes on Drone Delivery report said:

64% see drones becoming an option for home delivery. Of these:

  • 32% think it’s possible now or within the next 1 to 2 years, 
  • 18% say within 3 to 4 years, and 
  • 14% within 5 to 10 years. 

The minority, 36%, have their doubts, including: 

  • 20% who think the general public or governments will not approve of large-scale drone adoption for delivery and 
  • 16% who just prefer that it doesn’t happen.

But a clear majority, 58%, actively favor drone deliveries, with:

  • 29% saying they are curious to experience it, 
  • 11% saying they would try it to determine if it works for their lifestyle, and 
  • 18% already embracing it as the future of deliveries.

The survey further revealed that nearly half of Americans (47%) would make a purchase from a specific retailer if it had a drone delivery program. A sizable 54% of Americans said they are willing to consider drones as “the new corner store” for conveniently delivering small and last-minute sundries.

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Lorenz Meier, cofounder and CEO of Auterion, said:

Americans are ready for drones to deliver their packages, and retailers that adopt and scale drone delivery programs will find themselves ahead of the curve. Cargo is the first instance where most people will directly experience the power of air mobility and autonomous systems — where drones will become a tangible, everyday reality.

Our support of common enterprise use cases in inspections, mapping, search and rescue, and other areas led us organically to work with partners serving one of the world’s largest retailers. Backing this fleet technologically and its large-scale retail operations in urban environments marks a major step forward in scale for us and for the industry as a whole.

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That said, the picture is not all rosy. When it comes to the biggest concerns about drone deliveries, 43% of Americans fear the drone will break down and they won’t get their items, and 19% are distressed about not having human interaction with their delivery person. Other concerns, with respondents choosing more than one option, include:

  • 39% – that the drone will deliver my items to the wrong address,
  • 38% – if something happens to the drone, I won’t get a refund,
  • 37% – that my items will get ruined by the travel,
  • 35% – that my items will be left unattended, making stealing easier for porch bandits, and
  • 32% – that the sky will be cluttered with ugly/noisy technology.

But despite these concerns, more than half of Americans (56%) still feel “comfortable” knowing that drones will be delivering items to their homes or businesses in the near future.

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