Data, Drones, and the Internet of Things

The devices, advancements and technologies that encompass the 'Internet of Things' offer Americans connectivity once never thought possible. Because of this, and the data science that fuels such innovation, we have a future of endless possibilities. That's why citizens and communities will need to better understand the policies, responsibilities and factors that will shape the development of the Internet of Things- and our lives- in the years to come. Here, Americans sound off.

Majority of consumers know at least something about the Internet of Things

How much have you seen, read or heard about the Internet of Things (IoT), which are devices such as thermostats, fitness trackers, smart TVs or other sensors that are connected to and in some cases controlled through the Internet?

A lot
Not much
Nothing at all

And they consider IoT’s ability to amplify safety as the most useful application

Which one of these Internet of Things applications do you consider most significant?

Devices that can determine if there is a leak in an oil pipeline or local water system

  • 33%

Cars that can prevent accidents before they occur

  • 28%

Remote heart monitoring

  • 15%

Connected thermostats or lightbulbs

  • 3%

Don't know / no opinion

  • 21%

Adults overwhelmingly recognize the importance of data science skills and education

How important are each of the following when dealing with America’s future challenges?

Very important
Not important
Don't know / no opinion

Having a strong educations system to supply future scientists and engineers

  • 85%
  • 4%
  • 12%

Having capable data scientists / computer programmers

  • 83%
  • 4%
  • 13%

Having a sophisticated data collection / analysis system

  • 80%
  • 6%
  • 14%

Having access to lots of data

  • 79%
  • 7%
  • 14%

And a majority say data science makes their cities and communities better

How do you think improving data science and the role of data in society will generally impact cities and communities like yours?

Make them operate better
Make them operate worse
Have no impact
Don't know / no opinion

3 in 4 voters are generally aware of drones...

How much have you seen, read or heard about drones recently?

A lot
Not much
Nothing at all

...Though express concern regarding their safety and potential for intrusion

Are you concerned that drones...

Could violate other people's privacy

  • 84%

Could be used in a terrorist attack

  • 81%

Pose a danger to other aircraft, such as airplanes or helicopters

  • 80%

Pose a danger to people on the ground

  • 73%

Despite strong concern, adults express overwhelming support for the application of drones in everyday society

Do you support allowing the use of drones for...

Surveying disaster zones to improve recovery efforts

  • 87%

Monitoring infrastructure like pipelines, energy plants or railroads

  • 81%

Performing safety inspections on roads and bridges

  • 80%

Filming TV shows, movies or sporting events

  • 71%

General commercial purposes

  • 52%


  • 51%

Delivering packages from companies such as Amazon or UPS

  • 46%