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Introducing the Benefits of Autonomous Vehicles to Logistics During the COVID-19 Era

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Recent years have seen an evolution in automation and logistics technologies, especially with the recent growth of the e-commerce industry. The current COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of smart cities have made it necessary to rethink this sector regarding sustainability and resilience. There is a widespread need to redesign some of the steps that lead goods to our homes, encouraging decarbonization policies, reducing contacts between people for possible contagions and at the same time ensuring that products arrive intact and on time. Currently, there is only limited research on the impact of autonomous vehicles on the logistics industry. This paper reviews the literature by analyzing which autonomous systems have been integrated into long, medium, and short-distance logistics. It is clear that the adoption of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) stimulates possible innovation in mobility management and transportation logistics and provides the impetus for many unexplored research opportunities. The research investigates the main theoretical and practical benefits related to the use of autonomous vehicles in logistics, differentiating four areas of action (i.e., indoor and outdoor environments, long-distance and first and last-mile logistics).
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Autonomous Vehicle; Logistics; Long-haul Trucking; First and Last Mile; CO2 Emissions; COVID-19

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