The use of drones in city logistics: a case study

City logistics take a considerable part in urban transportation. Inevitably, the last mile deliveries are partly responsible for degrading the environment. Towards more environmentally friendly city logistics, using different means of transport has been tested; one among them is drones.

A new paper aims better to understand the use of drones for last-mile deliveries. More specifically, to give insights into how drones could deploy parcel distribution within an urban environment. Data were collected from a transport operator, and two scenarios were synthesized, reflecting the current and future situations.

An analysis of the stakeholders involved was performed, and for the analysis of the scenarios, two integer mathematical programming models were formulated and implemented with the case study. After that, the results of the two scenarios were assessed with relevant indicators extracted from the literature. The results showed that using drones for urban distribution reduced carbon dioxide emissions, the average delivery time per package, and the distribution costs. The literature review results and the stakeholder analysis indicate that the lack of a legal framework is the most critical obstacle to using drones for parcel distribution in urban environments.

Source: Xydianou, T., Nathanail, E. (2023). The Use of Drones in City Logistics—A Case Study Application. In: Nathanail, E.G., Gavanas, N., Adamos, G. (eds) Smart Energy for Smart Transport. CSUM 2022. Lecture Notes in Intelligent Transportation and Infrastructure. Springer, Cham.

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