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Title:Autonomous Aircraft: Challenges and Opportunities
Authors:Raj Bridgelall and Denver Tolliver
University:North Dakota State University
Publication Date:Nov 2023
Report #:MPC-23-506
Project #:MPC-666
TRID #:01898641
Keywords:autonomous vehicles, delivery service, drones, geographic information systems, machine learning, market assessment, regulation, transportation planning
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications


The emerging field of advanced air mobility (AAM) presents myriad opportunities for disrupting traditional modes of transport, including passenger travel to cargo logistics. However, its path to full-scale adoption is fraught with regulatory, market, and logistical challenges. This report presents a nuanced understanding of AAM's complexities and its potential for transformative impact, particularly to reduce the impacts on surface transportation degradation. The research employs data-driven methodologies, machine learning algorithms, and geographic information system (GIS) techniques to explore the landscape of AAM. These studies reveal the crucial role of regulatory frameworks and gross domestic product in AAM adoption, the importance of accurate market forecasting, and the value of identifying key commodity and geographical targets for cargo drones. Additionally, this study highlights the potential of AAM in safely transporting dangerous cargo and improving pharmaceutical supply chains. The successful integration of AAM into global transportation systems requires a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach. This study highlights the need for future research to build on this work to scale and optimize AAM technologies to meet the varying needs of nations and industries worldwide.

How to Cite

Bridgelall, Raj, and Denver Tolliver. Autonomous Aircraft: Challenges and Opportunities, MPC-23-506. North Dakota State University - Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Fargo: Mountain-Plains Consortium, 2023.

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