Press Release | June 29, 2020

Consumer Excitement for Drones, Self-Driving Vehicles Grows Amid Pandemic, CTA Study Shows

Laura Ambrosio
U.S. consumers’ enthusiasm for autonomous delivery technologies – including drones, self-driving vehicles and robots – is growing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® Autonomous Delivery Systems: Consumer Awareness & Favorability Study
The study finds one-quarter (26%) of consumers now view autonomous delivery technologies more favorably than before the coronavirus health crisis. Half (49%) of consumers rate these technologies as somewhat or very favorable. 
“With the increased need for contactless delivery, consumers are getting first-hand experience and becoming more familiar and comfortable with autonomous systems such as self-driving vehicles and drones,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, Director of Research, CTA. “Our data shows that these emerging technologies are playing an important role in delivering essential groceries, household items and medical supplies.”
Urban area residents are more aware of autonomous delivery technologies
More than a one-quarter (27%) of respondents have some degree of familiarity with autonomous delivery systems. Residents in urban areas (35%) are more familiar with autonomous delivery than suburban (28%) or rural (16%) residents.
Younger adults and families with children view autonomous delivery technologies more favorably
Most (63%) of those in the 18-34 age group indicate favorability toward autonomous delivery systems. Nearly three-fifths (57%) of households with children indicate high favorability toward autonomous delivery systems compared to households without children (46%). 
"The trends we are seeing are reflective of the high demand for more options and convenience during this time, especially among families with children,” said Rohrbaugh. “Consumers are excited about the ability of these technologies to improve their lives.”
The Autonomous Delivery Systems: Consumer Awareness & Favorability Study looks at public perceptions of autonomous systems used for delivery, such as self-driving vehicles, drones and delivery robots during the COVID-19 pandemic. CTA administered the quantitative survey to an online sample of 1,004 U.S. respondents ages 18+ between May 11 and 13, 2020. The complete study is available for free for CTA member companies.