The increase in package deliveries around the world has made the need for sustainable, efficient solutions more relevant than ever. To help meet this need, some proposals include the usage of driverless air and ground vehicles to deliver retail products, groceries, or healthcare supplies. A recent paper by a researcher from Portland University sought to understand the efficiency of such autonomous delivery vehicles in terms of vehicle miles, energy consumption, and carbon dioxide emissions.
The report analyzed three types of vehicle: drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); sidewalk autonomous delivery robots (SADRs); and road autonomous delivery robots (RADRs). As a baseline, their CO2 emissions were compared to those of an electric vehicle (e-van), a conventional internal combustion engine van, and the emissions that would result if the customer simply drove to the store.
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