An evaluation of the potential to use drone deliveries as last-mile logistics : In Jämtland

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Mittuniversitetet/Avdelningen för ekoteknik och hållbart byggande

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the potential of delivery drones to contribute to the logistic network (specifically the last-mile), while reducing the environmental impact, in the region of Jämtland, Sweden. This is done by making a current technological overview of delivery drones. Using this summary, it is possible to estimate the possibilities of the technology itself. Best practises are gathered and analysed since it is valuable to learn from the previous experiences. The environmental impact of drone delivery is analysed because the main reason to use drones in Jämtland, should be to reduce the overall environmental impact of the logistic sector. This is combined with the legislation and challenges drones face. Hereby it is possible to determine when drone delivery could reduce the environmental impact of last-mile logistics. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) are claimed by many companies (Google, Amazon, UPS) in the logistic sector to be a great technology for last-mile delivery, which is faced with high costs. Delivery drones promise to be cost reducing, fast and eco-friendly. There is a vast amount of research going into planning and economics of delivery drones for the logistic sector. The research on the environmental impact is limited and outcomes are highly dependent on the limitations of the study. Therefore, it is hard to analyse in which situations delivery drones can contribute to the society by lowering the environmental impact of the logistic sector, while following current trends of faster deliveries. The main findings are: the ideal case is a single light package or payload that needs to be transported, without the possibility for other packages to be delivered on the same route. Once package deliveries can be grouped in an efficient route, there are better technologies on the market nowadays. These are further developed and have a lower impact on the environment. Even if drones can be used in a way that benefits the environment and is cost-efficient, they still face challenges. More testing and scientific research is needed to prove drone delivery can be done in a safe manner, that benefits the environment while being cost-effective.

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