• Evaluation of Delivery Service in Rural Areas with CAV

      Prevedouros, Panos; Alghamdi, Abdulrahman (2022-03-15)
      Urban areas have been experiencing automated delivery technology for several servings of food or a few bags of groceries, with automated (robotic) mini vehicles. The benefits of such automated delivery may be much more significant for rural areas with long distances due to the large potential savings in travel time, travel cost, and crash risk. Compared to urban areas, rural areas have older and more disabled residents, longer distances, higher traffic fatality rates, and high ownership of less fuel-efficient vehicles such as pickup trucks. An evaluation of connected autonomous vehicle (CAV) delivery service in rural areas was conducted. A detailed methodology was developed and applied to two case studies: One for deliveries between Hilo and Volcano Village in Hawaii as a case of deliveries over a moderate distance (~50-mile roundtrip) in a high-energy-cost environment, and another for deliveries between Spokane and Sprague in Washington State as a case of deliveries over a longer distance (~80-mile roundtrip) in a low-energy-cost environment. The delivery vehicles were based on the same compact van: A person-driven gasoline-powered van, a person-driven electric-powered van, and a CAV electric-powered van. The case study results suggest that the CAV van can be a viable option for implementing a delivery business for rural areas based on the evaluation results that accounted for a large number of location-specific costs and benefits and the number of orders served per trip.