Modeling the Impacts of Regulations and Safety Constraints on UAVs Costs and Emissions

The integration of more sustainable vehicles in goods distribution and service delivery depends on a number of factors related to vehicle costs, technology, infrastructure, energy sources, and financial incentives (Feng and Figliozzi, 2012). Energy cost fluctuations and the rapid evolution of vehicle types and engine technologies creates a highly uncertain environment. Problems and issues faced by policy makers, transportation planners, and private companies are rapidly evolving over time. In addition, new vehicle technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones have the potential to disrupt last mile deliveries and supply chains. The comparison of conventional diesel vehicles and cleaner vehicles is not straightforward because there are substantial tradeoffs regarding vehicles costs, payload, range, and supporting infrastructure. The comparison is even more complex regarding UAVs since this is a new vehicle type and technology. Furthermore, the regulatory framework may significantly affect UAV adoption rates as well as potential cost and environmental efficiencies. There is scant or no research that models the impact of regulations and safety constraints on UAVs last mile deliveries environmental, logistics and cost tradeoffs. This research proposal builds upon research and models developed in 2017-18 (first phase) that focused on UAVs energy and emissions modeling (Figliozzi, 2017). The main goal of this proposal (phase two) is to develop robust tools and models to analyze the impacts of regulations and/or safety constraints on UAV costs and emissions. More specifically, this research project will: (1) review and analyze UAV regulations in the USA and abroad, (2) review and analyze UAV safety concerns, and (3) model and analyze the impact of regulations on UAVs costs and lifecycle CO₂e emissions.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $65000
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      United States Department of Transportation - FHWA - LTAP

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC    20590

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

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

      Freight Mobility Research Institute

      Florida Atlantic University
      Boca Raton, FL  United States  33431
    • Performing Organizations:

      Portland State University

      Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Engineering Bldg, 301D, 1930 SW 4th Ave.
      Portland, OR  United States  97201
    • Principal Investigators:

      Figliozzi, Miguel

    • Start Date: 20181211
    • Expected Completion Date: 20191211
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01682653
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Freight Mobility Research Institute
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747120
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Oct 3 2018 3:39PM