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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Automation, Electrification, and Shared Mobility in Freight

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Understanding the potential benefits and unintended consequences of automation and electrification revolutions in freight is challenging for academics, practitioners, and decision-makers. On one hand, these revolutions could help mitigate the disproportionate impacts of freight transportation on externalities and improve efficiency; on the other hand, they could generate additional issues such as right-of-way conflicts, crashes, and traffic incidents. To shed light on these issues, this report conducts an extensive review of the state-of-the-practice of such innovations for both long-haul and last-mile freight distribution. The study concentrates on the potential barriers, challenges, and opportunities of the different innovations, and discusses the market readiness of some of the technologies. Finally, the authors discuss planning considerations for the advent and widespread use of these innovations, and provide research and policy considerations.

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