Plank, M., Lemardelé, C., Assmann, T., Zug, S.: Ready for Robots? Assessment of autonomous delivery robot operative accessibility in German cities. In: Journal of Urban Mobility, Volume 2, December 2022.
Unlike autonomous car applications, the operational area of urban service autonomous robots like autonomous delivery robots (ADRs) is not clearly defined at the moment. Due to large variations in the different robot designs, specific local infrastructure and regulation, assessing the feasibility of different operational scenarios is difficult. This paper presents a prototype evaluation methodology based on Open Street Map data for the assessment of ADR deployments considering one-to-many delivery schemes. Four different robot configurations and potential operational specifications are modeled and evaluated in a sample of German cities. The bandwidth of considered robot types ranges from large ADRs operating on roadways down to small size systems operating on sidewalks. The performance of the first category is limited by the reduced accessibility in areas with higher traffic. On the contrary, small ADRs present a higher detour time but increased accessibility. The evaluated operational scenarios show very diverse performance depending on the considered metrics and cities. For all the metrics considered in the paper, sidewalk ADRs show poor performance when compared to other potential ADR deployments.