At Stanford offered to give drones the roofs of buses and tramsJune 9, 2020
The use of mail copters, despite the development of delivery technologies, has not yet become widespread. They are currently prohibited from flying in settlements due to safety concerns. But, if the drones took on at least part of the freight, it would be easier to breathe in megacities. A solution to the problem was proposed at Stanford. Calculations show that allowing copters to use the roofs of buses and trams to “jump”, you can increase their efficiency by 3.6 times.
A team of researchers from Stanford University has proposed a new solution to this problem by combining public transport – buses and trams – with drone capabilities. “Our approach is trying to minimize the maximum delivery lead time,” the authors write. “By comparing the benefits of both modes of transport, we can achieve significant commercial benefits and social impact.”
The idea of the researchers is to allow drones to do part of the journey on the roofs of buses and trams. This will significantly increase the radius of the aircraft – by 360%, as scientists calculated. For example, the popular model of the drone DJI Mavic 2 is capable of flying a maximum of 18 km, and boarding public transport, it can “finish” up to 65 km.
The developers created an algorithm that controls the movement of 200 drones simultaneously, which deliver up to 5000 parcels. The system is designed for cities with 8,000 stops and resembles the Uber or Lyft private pick-up service algorithms. It has already been tested on the virtual models of San Francisco (about 150 sq. Km) and Washington (about 400 sq. Km), writes VentureBeat.
It is assumed that drones will deliver items to storage and delivery points, and one drone can fulfill no more than one order at a time. There, at the points of delivery of orders, the copter will be able to recharge or replace the battery. The algorithm allows you to calculate the ideal route and reduce downtime.
The next step of the researchers is to conduct field tests, determine the cost of the system, assess the impact of road conditions and potential hazards.
Recently, Chinese authorities have certified an EHang 216 double electric UAV for flights with cargo weighing up to 150 kg. The company was the first in the world to receive permission for the commercial use of heavy airborne electric drones.
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