Autonomous Aircraft Logistics: Challenges and Opportunities

The rise of autonomous vehicles of all types has created a new landscape of autonomous logistics that is rather complex and filled with uncertainties. As carriers initiated partnerships with major retailers and restaurants to deliver groceries and food with autonomous road and sidewalk robotic vehicles, the global pandemic of 2019 has solidified and accelerated those trends. These developments resulted in a blossoming new field called autonomous logistics. This research focuses on the subfield of autonomous aircraft logistics. This proposal focuses on the subfield of autonomous aircraft cargo logistics (AACL) to directly contrast it with autonomous aircraft passenger logistics or flying taxis. AACL will potentially compete with trucks and other modes of ground transportation. The competition is likely to upend business models and change the landscape for logistics. The goal of this research is to understand the scope of AACL applications, prospects for adoption, deployment challenges, and the potential implications for planners and policymaking.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $366000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Project Managers:

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Performing Organizations:

    Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute

    North Dakota State University
    1320 Albrecht Boulevard
    Fargo, ND  United States  581052
  • Principal Investigators:

    Bridgelall, Raj

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Start Date: 20210917
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 20231106
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-666

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01782709
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Sep 23 2021 11:25AM