Studies about the public perception of drone deliveries indicated so far that half of the surveyed people do not see the point of drone deliveries. However, most of the people who were surveyed, have never received a drone delivery.
New research from Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), a federally-designated drone test site, and Lee Vinsel, an assistant professor of science, technology, and society in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, focused on the community of Christiansburg. This was the first community in the US that implemented a residential drone delivery service.
When Christianburg’s 22,000 residents were asked about drone delivery – having actually been able to see and use a commercial drone delivery service – answers were dominantly positive.
The survey found that of the more than 800 respondents:
- 87% liked the idea of drone delivery
- 89% would use the service
- 58% said their opinion of drone delivery improved during the pandemic.
What may have contributed to the success of the drone delivery program in Christianburg was the significant community outreach project executed before the first drone landed on a residential porch. MAAP and Wing talked to thousands of residents about what the service would like, answering questions and concerns.
Wing and researchers have learned that community outreach, education and experience is a critical factor in improving community acceptance. Commercial drone service providers can use that approach to open doors in other communities.