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Matthew W. Daus, Esq.
Partner and Chairman, Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group
President, International Association of Transportation Regulators
Transportation Technology Chair, University Transportation Research Center

Contact: mdaus@windelsmarx.com
156 West 56th Street | New York, NY 10019
T. 212.237.1106 | F. 212.262.1215
 

The Future of Drones in Transportation and Logistics

 
 

The logistics industry is the leader of the pack when it comes to using drones. Although still not fully developed, there are plenty of potential use cases of cargo UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). So, today we are talking about the future of drones in transportation and logistics.

In the last few years, the competition to launch passenger drones caught the eye of the public. There is no surprise here. At the end of the day, the idea is both fun and convenient. However, the real progress when it comes to these is happening in the logistics sector.

While flying taxis are cool, this is not a proven technology.  The same cannot be said for the cargo drones. We have already seen them delivering in backyards and taking medications to inaccessible locations. There are even UAVs transporting parts from one side of the warehouse to another.

Moreover, the best thing is that these can be used in numerous industries.
Logistics is a sector that paves the path in operational drone use cases. Luckily, national authorities all around the world recognized the potential of these. So, they are issuing permits that allow companies to trial commercial cargo UAVs. This means that firms operate fee-charging drone services at certain times and survey customers later on. Therefore, they are improving their offerings each time they do it.

As things are right now, UAV logistics can be divided into three categories:

  • Cargo drones. This includes all kinds of cargo activities and deliveries. So, we are talking about distributing parcels in overpopulated areas and medicaments to remote places.
  • UAV express is a service that offers to transport a light payload in a short time period. There are many potential uses. However, currently, it is used for delivering emergency products.
  • Warehouse operations are the third category. It is easy to automate current warehouses with drones. In addition, they can do almost anything from inventory management all the way to security and surveillance.

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U.S. DOT, Congress Push Each Other to Do More on Automated Vehicles


  

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said driving will “unquestionably” include automated vehicles in the future, and Congress must do more to clarify how regulators can approach them.

Automated vehicles are priority for the administration, but the department does not have the framework it needs to clarify its authorities, Buttigieg said. Senators on both side of the aisle pressed Buttigieg on Tuesday about not falling behind other countries as development of automated vehicles advances.

“There is more that we can be doing with our existing authorities, but also we very much believe we need to work with Congress to have a legislative framework that adequately contemplates these kinds of vehicles becoming more widespread,” Buttigieg told senators at a Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing.

Legislation to create a regulatory framework for automated vehicles has been stalled for years despite bipartisan interest, and now senators are urging the Transportation Department to move forward on its own.

“My early impression, certainly based on the exchanges today, is that the interest is bipartisan and so my hope is, just as we had a bipartisan infrastructure law, that we might have bipartisan action on AVs,” Buttigieg said after the hearing.

A dozen Senate Democrats last week pressed Buttigieg in a letter to develop a federal framework for autonomous vehicles. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who led the letter, asked Buttigieg if the U.S. can embrace AVs while creating jobs for transportation workers.

The department is “interested in making sure that this transition, whether talking about electric or automated, is principally made in America, that it creates more opportunity,” Buttigieg replied. “It can, but we need to provide the right kind of policy.”

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Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group News Feed - Volume 3 (2022), Edition 84
 
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
 
Gas Prices Hit Record Highs Across Canada
In Toronto, Uber and taxi drivers are also feeling the impact.
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South Africa to Introduce New Rules for Self-Driving Cars
The Department of Transport plans to formalize rules around self-driving vehicles in South Africa as part of an official policy push.
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China’s EV Buyers May Get Subsidies from Local Governments to Boost Industry
China’s local governments are likely to reintroduce cash subsidies to bolster sales of EVs after the industry took a savage hit from the COVID-19 outbreak.
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NATIONAL NEWS

Uber CEO Tells Staff Company Will Cut Down on Costs, Treat Hiring as a “Privilege”
Uber will slash spending on marketing and incentives and treat hiring as a “privilege,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an email to staff.
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Used-Car Prices Are down from Record Highs, Easing the Impact of Inflation
Wholesale used-vehicle prices have notably fallen from a record high set in January, signaling the worst of sky-high prices related to higher inflation in the U.S. may be behind us.
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Lucid Raises Its EV Prices as the Company Continues to Struggle with Production
Lucid Motors is raising the prices of its luxury electric vehicles, as the company continues to struggle with production.
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LOCAL NEWS

As Scooter Activity Rebounds, San Diego Cracks Down with New Restrictions
San Diego is preparing new restrictions to limit the number of scooters in the city and where the devices can operate and park between rides.
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Poll: Few New Yorkers Feel “Very Safe” Riding the Subway
Only 15% of New Yorkers feel “very safe” riding the subway during the day — and a majority would like to see more police officers patrolling the system, a new poll found.
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Divvy Hopes New Charging Stations Will Reduce VMT Needed to Maintain the Fleet
According to the city of Chicago and Divvy, the network recently became the first U.S. bike share system to offer on-street charging docks for its electric bikes. 
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High Gas Prices Are Pushing Electric Car Sales to a Tipping Point


 

With gas prices painfully high for the third straight month, more Americans have been turning to fuel-efficient vehicle alternatives as a way to save money, new data shows.

An unreleased report from CarGurus, an automotive research and shopping firm, shows that 53% of active shoppers say they are considering a more fuel-efficient vehicle in response to high gas prices. The data, shared with TIME, looks at consumer sentiment toward electric vehicles based on an online survey of 2,176 U.S. automobile owners at various points this year. It finds that 40% of Americans now expect to own an electric car in the next five years, up from 32% in February and 30% last year.

“Gas prices have really pushed shoppers to consider EVs that otherwise wouldn’t have sooner,” says Ali Chapman, a senior customer insights analyst at CarGurus. “And it’s led to increased activity in EVs on our site.”

Google searches for electric cars have also been boosted by the gas prices, reaching a record high in March. The results are being felt all across the auto industry. Companies that manufacture electric vehicles have reported blockbuster sales in recent months, exceeding even the most optimistic Wall Street expectations.

However, despite the increase in sales and activity, data from CarGurus reveals consumer buying habits are a little more complex. In a survey of respondents last year, 56% said they’d be much more likely to consider an electric vehicle if gas prices reached $5/gallon. Today, that figure drops to a more realistic 27%.

“The initial shock of paying $5/gallon really kind of gets people looking,” says Kevin Roberts, director of industry insights and analytics at CarGurus. “But then as that awareness grows, interest slips out.”

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About Windels Marx
With offices in New York, NY, New Brunswick, NJ, Madison, NJ, and Stamford, CT, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP is a full service law firm formed in the mid-nineteenth century. Today, we represent domestic and international clients in the banking and financial institutions, energy and environmental, government and tribal interests, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, technology and intellectual property and transportation industries.

Disclaimer: In some jurisdictions, this material may be deemed as attorney advertising. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. Possession of this material does not constitute an attorney / client relationship.

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