Deploying Autonomous Robot Delivery System to Replace Truck Delivery and Reduce GHG Emission in Austin, TX

Being fully electric-powered, Autonomous Delivery Robots (ADR) present a promising avenue for substantial reductions in energy utilization and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within urban areas. However, existing robot delivery systems have been predominantly tested on small scales such as university campuses, and for specific delivery purposes. The potential environmental benefits of these systems remain largely uncharted, necessitating further exploration and validation. To fill this gap, this research aims to deploy a robot delivery system in an Austin neighborhood to test the performance of ADR in terms of delivery efficiency and GHG emissions reduction, then a citywide robot delivery system deployment strategy will be developed. This study employs a Short to Medium Range Autonomous Delivery System (SMADS) to deliver packages in Georgian Acres Community in Austin, TX. The SMADS which was funded by the UT Good Systems Grand Challenge, is designed to deliver food in the UT campus using robots that will cross complex terrain, navigating around people, cars, and other obstacles typical to campus roadways. The study has two objectives. The first objective aims to deploy a robot delivery system in a real neighborhood to satisfy last-mile delivery demands in residents’ daily lives. PIs will also test and analyze the efficiency and GHG emission reduction of this system. The second objective is to Formulate a comprehensive robotic delivery system deployment strategy for the city of Austin, Texas, drawing upon the findings and analyses from the first objective. The result of this study will instruct autonomous robot delivery system designation and provide local governments with deployment strategies to expand environmental benefits. This research in the Austin case will serve as a focal point for generating insights and solutions pertinent to analogous challenges faced by autonomous robot delivery systems across the U.S.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $201307
    • Contract Numbers:

      DOT 69A3552348325

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      Center for Climate-Smart Transportation

      615 N Wolfe St
      Baltimore, Maryland  United States  21205
    • Managing Organizations:

      Center for Climate-Smart Transportation

      615 N Wolfe St
      Baltimore, Maryland  United States  21205
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Texas at Austin

      Austin, TX  United States  78712
    • Principal Investigators:

      Jiao, Junfeng

    • Start Date: 20231001
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01913046
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Climate-Smart Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: DOT 69A3552348325
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Mar 25 2024 7:15PM