Commentary

67% See Need To Heavily Regulate Robots, Drones

A new Internet-connected future is coming and consumers have varying views about different aspects of it.

Robots, drones, self-driving cars and virtual assistants are all part of the future mix and some consumers are welcoming of some of the services that may be performed on their behalf, based on a new study.

Some of the views are mixed.

For example, a majority (59%) of consumers think robots will one day be able to perform tasks as well as a human but about a third (34%) think robots are unlikely to be useful in their lifetime.

The findings are from a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by Opinium for WorldPay.

The majority (67%) of the public also thinks robots and drones will need to be heavily regulated.

There are job-related views as well, with almost half (47%) concerned that their job could one day be replaced as a result of automation.

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Meanwhile, the idea of technology being used to deliver things and perform human tasks is somewhat appealing.

Half (50%) of consumers would be comfortable having a drone deliver purchases to their home and 49% would be ok with having a robot perform tasks in their homes.

Self-driving cars are another hot button for many consumers. Here are those stats:

  • 60% -- Would consider allowing their car to automatically make road toll payments
  • 48% -- Would be happy for their car to undertake small shopping tasks for them to make life easier
  • 47% -- Concerned their location would be tracked
  • 45% -- Would feel comfortable if their vehicle performed other tasks (advertising, carpooling, etc.) while they weren’t using it
  • 43% -- Want their car to order in-car entertainment
  • 39% -- Would consider cars automatically finding and paying for parking spaces.

Of all the technologies coming, consumers are most enthusiastic about the prospects of using virtual assistants (34%), robots (33%), smart objects/connected devices (32%) and self-driving cars (30%).

Somewhat ironically, consumer viewpoints and behavioral changes will determine which technological future arrives and when.

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