The coronavirus pandemic led to one curious result – a sharp increase in home delivery of goods and food. The reason is obvious – the introduction of quarantine. However, the largest delivery services made a controversial conclusion from what is happening.
In particular, giants such as Amazon, UPS and DHL decided to actively develop the delivery service using drones- drones. Currently, they are already collaborating with aviation regulators seeking to develop comprehensive flight rules for such devices.
Amazon Corporation has unveiled a new fleet of drones called Prime Air: “We are delighted with Prime Air – the future delivery system from Amazon It is designed to deliver packages safely to customers within 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones. ”
“ Prime Air has tremendous potential to improve the services we already provide to millions of customers. The system will provide fast delivery of parcels, which will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transport system, ”the corporation emphasizes.
All this is fine, but, as always, there is one“ but ”. A recent study by scientists at Martin Luther University (MLU) in Halle-Wittenberg led to a shocking discovery. It turned out that unmanned aerial vehicles will use 10 times more energy per delivery unit than electric trucks.
“Unmanned aerial vehicles are amazing technology, but as“ trucks ”they are extremely inefficient, – writes edition New Atlas with reference to the MLU report. “Without the wings that give lift in horizontal flight, the drone is held in the air only by the thrust of electric propellers.”
“And if it still carries some kind of load, energy consumption increases. And it becomes simply huge if the device has to deal with headwinds or crosswinds. Not to mention the fact that they can only transport one parcel at a time, ”notes the publication.
Using the drone for delivery is too wasteful
The report, “Comparison of the energy needs of drone-based and ground-based delivery services,” was published this year in the academic journal ScienceDirect. It used the “detailed energy model for drones”. It made it possible to determine that “the transition to exclusively unmanned parcel delivery systems in most cases does not make sense from an energy point of view.”
“Based on a simulation conducted in Berlin and the surrounding area, researchers found that electric vans in densely populated urban areas Today they are the most energy-efficient delivery option, continues New Atlas. “In this situation, a diesel truck consumes about five times more energy, and a drone consumes 10 times.”
“Population density is a key factor here. Electric vans can transport hundreds of parcels, and when delivery routes are short with many stops, a minimum of energy is spent, ”the report says. However, not all so simple. In rural areas with low population density, drones can be more economical than electric vans.
In general, however, electric trucks are the most energy-efficient vehicle with the lowest total greenhouse gas emissions. In general, they are almost zero if they charge their batteries from renewable sources. : ///
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