Public's Perspective on Civil Drones: Reasons to support and oppose

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Vaishnavi UpadrastaRodney Leitner

Abstract: Drone technology is prevailing in the mainstream market with its promising innovative potential across different application scenarios. While the technological capacity of drones is explored and developed, many have addressed the societal perceptions and reactions towards its use. Recent literature inclines towards more neutral if not positive perception by the general public. This paper, performed within a European Union project ADACORSA, explores the most relevant concepts for drone technology acceptance and presents a detailed overview of the survey-based research conducted in 2022. Data was collected from a total of 601 participants across Europe and ADACORSA partner countries largely from Germany, Austria, France, Greece and Turkey. To make the survey as accessible as possible, participants could take the survey in 16 different languages. The performed risk analysis showed highest level of concerns related to security/privacy in terms of misuse and invasion of private spaces. Safety and privacy concerns are perceived as equally risky. Benefits analysis on the other hand revealed general public anticipates greater economic advantages but significantly lesser societal and environmental benefits. Apart from emergencies and humanitarian aid, and purposes to facilitate services that benefit society, industrial applications curtailed most support from the general public. Highest opposition was established for hobby/recreation-related drone use, primarily from individuals who have never used a drone. The objective of this paper is both to understand general public’s acceptance towards the use of drones and to provide a nuanced overview to drone operators of which purposes are perceived as reasonable and are accepted by the general public.

Keywords: Public Acceptance, Drones, UAVs, Technology Acceptance, Acceptance Surveys

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002961

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