Center for Transformative Infrastructure Preservation and Sustainability

Project Details

Advanced Air Mobility to Enhance Freight Logistics and Preserve Road Condition
Principal Investigators:
Raj Bridgelall
North Dakota State University
Grant #:
69A3552348308 (IIJA / BIL)
Project #:
RiP #:
cargo aircraft, drones, electric vehicles, forecasting, freight transportation, geographic information systems, machine learning, market assessment, regulation


The emerging field of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) presents myriad opportunities for disrupting traditional modes of transport, including passenger travel to cargo logistics. Moving cargo by air instead of by truck in significant volumes can preserve road condition and reduce highway crash exposure. However, its path to full-scale adoption is fraught with regulatory, market, and logistical challenges. This report presents a refined 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 aim to reveal the crucial role of regulatory frameworks and economic progress 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 goods to rural and underserved communities without heavy trucks traveling on highways. 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.

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