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Project Details

Title:Strategic Deployment of Drone Centers and Fleet Size Planning for Drone Delivery in Utah
Principal Investigators:Xiaoyue "Cathy" Liu
University:University of Utah
Grant #:69A3551747108 (FAST Act)
Project #:MPC-636
RiP #:01757156
RH Display ID:154803
Keywords:airspace (aeronautics), connectivity, delivery vehicles, drones, energy consumption, physical distribution, warehouses


In a 2017 report by the RAND corporation, analytical methods for calculating the total energy consumed by a mix of delivery trucks and drones were developed and shown to be highly dependent on the layout of distribution centers as well as distance traveled by delivery vehicles. This suggests that the city layout, i.e., street connectivity and other network parameters, are important considerations for energy-conscious policies. While industry stakeholders must determine the market viability of drone delivery, they are not required to calculate the external and indirect costs that may be associated with this burgeoning industry. Furthermore, the unstructured airspace proposed by some stakeholders can have an undesirable monopolistic effect caused by the computational aspects of this approach. The research proposed here will produce a state-wide drone network, and hence a structured airspace, that can potentially increase the accessibility of the airspace while ensuring a higher degree of safety.

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