Collaborative Last-Mile Delivery with Drones in Rural America

Access to timely and reliable healthcare services is a significant challenge faced by individuals residing in rural areas. This research proposal aims to develop an innovative optimization framework for collaborative last-mile delivery with drones in order to address this challenge. By integrating optimization techniques and solution algorithms, the proposed framework seeks to optimize network design, drone type selection, strategic routing, and coordination decisions, considering uncertainties and realistic operation-specific constraints. The research will incorporate factors such as uncertain flight range and payload capacity impacted by environmental conditions, as well as resource allocation under staffing challenges, while ensuring efficient and cost-effective healthcare logistics. The developed optimization framework may serve as a decision support tool, enabling healthcare providers and policymakers to input specific delivery scenarios and obtain optimized solutions. To evaluate the performance, accuracy, and robustness of the proposed optimization framework, the representative synthetic instances of rural areas will be generated. The findings will be disseminated through technical reports and per-reviewed journal articles, fostering knowledge sharing and potential collaboration with stakeholders. Ultimately, this research seeks to revolutionize healthcare logistics, enhancing healthcare access in rural areas and improving the timely delivery of vital medical supplies. By doing so, it aims to improve health outcomes and save lives, taking a significant step towards addressing the healthcare disparities faced by rural communities.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $149852
    • 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:

      Mid-America Transportation Center

      University of Nebraska-Lincoln
      2200 Vine Street, PO Box 830851
      Lincoln, NE  United States  68583-0851
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Missouri, St. Louis

      1 University Boulevard
      St. Louis, MO  United States  63121-4400
    • Principal Investigators:

      Enayati, Shakiba

      Campbell, James

      Li, Haitao

    • Start Date: 20230601
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01908395
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Mid-America Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348307
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Feb 19 2024 5:11PM