Drones offer sustainable last-mile parcel delivery

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The future of last-mile package delivery is fast and contactless, with delivery providers focused on eliminating traffic and parking challenges. An increasingly prominent option is the use of uncrewed aerial vehicles or drones. 

This week research comparing the environmental impact of different forms of last-mile delivery was published in the scientific journal Patterns.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University compared the energy consumption of quadcopter drones against diesel and electric medium-duty trucks, small vans, and electric cargo bicycles on a per-package basis.

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They found that greenhouse-gas emissions per parcel were 84% lower for drones than for diesel trucks. Unsurprisingly, drones consumed up to 94% less energy per parcel than trucks. 

last-mile delivery drones