The drones and emerging Advanced Air Mobility sector will create new jobs, industries and markets, with the capacity to connect our cities and regions using less capital investment than other transport modes.
- Drones are expected to save between $320 and $525 million by 2040 for parcel, food and medical deliveries.
- The demand for food deliveries by drones in Australia is estimated to range from 46 to 65 million trips in 2040, with an average cost per delivery of $1.49 (Deloitte 2020).
A demographically and geographically representative survey of the Australian population offers valuable insights into public perceptions of drone delivery services (iMove 2023).
- Out of 1,000 respondents asked about their level of interest in drone delivery services, 50.8% indicated some level of interest, 23.2% remained neutral, and 25.9% indicated some level of disinterest (Figure 1).
- Respondents were also asked about their level of interest in using drone delivery services. Of the 51.6% of respondents that indicated they are somewhat likely or highly likely to use drone delivery services, approximately half (50.7%) indicated they would use the service once a fortnight or more frequently.
- Sixty-three per cent indicated that they support the use of small-scale drones where they offer value, which increased to 79% for specialised high value cases, such as medical deliveries.
- In relation to the statement, “I don’t want to see drones commercially deployed in practice at all”, 23% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed, 39% neither agreed or disagreed, and 28% disagreed or strongly disagreed (Figure 2).
Respondents’ preferences for different delivery methods and items across market segments are illustrated in Table 1.
The survey also measured relative level of community concern about the potential impacts of small-scale drones.
- It found ‘invasion of privacy’, ‘disturbance to wildlife’ and ‘safety risks to the general public’ were the most concerning factors, while ‘noise pollution’, ‘disturbance to cultural sites’ and ‘reduce the beauty of the sky’ were the least concerning factors
- Some of the keywords mentioned more frequently when respondents were asked open-ended questions regarding the relative challenges of increased small-scale drone uptake for their community were ‘privacy’, ‘noise’, ‘invasion’, ‘safety’ and ‘jobs’ (iMove 2023).
The department will continue to engage with the public to address community concerns related to the increased uptake of drones in Australia. The department is progressing a range of policies and initiatives to ensure the sector develops in a manner that is safe, secure and considerate of the community and the environment.