Helsinki Residents Open to Drones in Emergencies, Survey Reveals

A recent survey conducted in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area found that residents are generally accepting of drones, particularly in emergency situations. The survey, which is reportedly the largest of its kind in , received responses from nearly 400 adults and provided valuable insights into the expectations, concerns, and attitudes of residents regarding .

Survey Highlights Positive Attitudes Towards Drones

The survey results indicate that 43% of respondents have a positive attitude towards the use of drones in emergencies, with 91% welcoming drones near their homes during such situations. Residents are most supportive of drones being used for monitoring, imaging tasks, and transporting medical supplies and samples. More than half of the respondents also expressed interest in the potential use of drones for transporting medical personnel and injured people.

Kimmo Heinonen, Team Manager of Innovation Services at Business Helsinki, emphasizes the importance of these findings, stating, “Surveys help not only the City but also companies to assess what kinds of drone services are worth implementing in Helsinki. Residents' acceptance of the technology is crucial for successful business.”

Concerns and Preferences for Drone Use

Despite the overall positive attitudes, the survey also revealed some concerns among residents. The top concerns include increased monitoring by camera drones (84%), cyber security risks such as hacking (66%), and the potential for drones to collide and crash. Additionally, 85% of respondents consider it important for drones to be as safe as currently used aircraft.

When asked about preferred locations for drone use, respondents favored office hubs and green areas like parks. However, they were less enthusiastic about drones flying over pedestrian centers and residential areas, with 59% opposing the idea of drones flying freely anywhere in the city.

Future of Urban Air Mobility in Helsinki

The survey was conducted as part of the EU-funded AiRMOUR urban air mobility project, which concluded at the end of 2023. According to a study, the service market in Helsinki is expected to reach EUR 20–80 million by 2030. Heinonen stresses the importance of taking residents' needs and concerns seriously to realize this growth potential.

Ongoing Drone Projects and New Survey

In recent years, Helsinki has witnessed the use of drones for various purposes, including the transportation of goods, food, and medical supplies, as well as supporting emergency medical services. The ongoing CITYAM project is currently testing drones in maritime rescue operations.

For those who disagree with the survey results, a new drone survey is underway in Helsinki this spring as part of the CITYAM project. Residents can participate in the survey until April 26, 2024, to further contribute to the understanding of local attitudes towards drone technology.

The recent drone survey in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area provides valuable insights into residents' attitudes towards drone use, highlighting both the potential benefits and concerns associated with this emerging technology. As urban air mobility continues to develop, it is crucial for cities and companies to consider public opinion and address residents' needs to ensure the successful implementation of drone services in the future.

Photo courtesy of AiRMOUR.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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