ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses the practical realities of integrating drones into existing urban logistics supply chain infrastructures, and focuses on medical use cases and using first-hand experience of operating Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight flights. The majority of logistics studies have reflected on drones being used for the carriage of consumer goods parcels, replacing or supporting traditional delivery vehicles (e.g., vans/trucks/cargo bikes) that will have payload capacities far in excess of those typical for drones. In developed nations, the reliability of traditional logistics services using vans/trucks is one of their key strengths. Cost estimates were based on a future scenario where drone operations are routinely automated, removing the need for safety pilots for take-off/landing and enabling mission commanders to manage multiple drones simultaneously. Ultimately, drones must be able to deliver an urban logistics service that is reliable and, maybe most importantly for commercial drone operators, cost-effective.