Drones Could Halve Carbon Emissions: Report Says

Commercial Drone

A new report published on Tuesday by Inmarsat and Cranfield University said Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide “an unprecedented opportunity for the logistics industry to reduce its environmental impact.”

Cranfield University used its modelling and primary data resources to compare the CO2 emissions emitted by UAVs and small light commercial vehicles (LCVs). The results found a significant reduction in CO2 emissions produced when using UAVs for freight delivery.

“Unless autonomous vehicles and unmanned aviation are safely and securely integrated into managed airspace, their true potential cannot be unlocked on a commercial scale.”

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Anthony Spouncer

The report found that an LCV delivering ten packages per eight-hour shift over a five kilometres range, generates 3,394 grams of CO2 per 24 hours, meanwhile, a large-sized UAV with a 50 kilograms load generates 1,800 grams of emissions per 24 hours.

 A medium-sized UAV with a five-kilogram load and a 36 kilometres range, generates 2,160 grams of CO2 over the same period.

“Our new report with Cranfield University is packed with valuable insights that reinforce the positive and far-reaching impact of commercial UAVs on numerous aspects of society and business, However, it’s also clear that unless autonomous vehicles and unmanned aviation are safely and securely integrated into managed airspace, their true potential cannot be unlocked on a commercial scale,” Inmarsat’s Senior Director of UAVs, Anthony Spouncer said. 

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Karim Tolba

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