Researchers at Stanford University have developed a computer program that plans deliveries by getting drones to piggyback on public transport for a range boost.
The program has two layers: one that decides which drones should deliver which packages, and another that sets the route each should take and when they should board and leave buses.
In simulations of San Francisco and the Washington, D.C., areas, the software typically routed all packages in a few seconds, and the drones that used public transportation saw their ranges increased by up to 450%.
The largest simulation included 200 drones delivering 5,000 packages using an 8,000-stop bus network.
However, transit networks in many urban areas would not be sufficiently extensive or fast enough for this system to work, according to Niels Agatz at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA